Warner Bros. made big news yesterday when they announced that WONDER WOMAN 1984 would hit theaters on Christmas Day, at locations that have been allowed to reopen, and HBO MAX, for streaming. This isn’t the death blow that exhibitors were expecting for the last tentpole release left in the ashes of 2020 and that could be why AMC Entertainment CEO, Adam Aron, is “fully on board” with the release plan.
Aron came out in support of the unprecedented release strategy by saying “For many months, AMC has been in active and deep dialogue with Warner Brothers to figure out how best this cinematic blockbuster could be seen at AMC Theatres in these unprecedented times. Given that atypical circumstances call for atypical economic relationships between studios and theatres, and atypical windows and releasing strategies, AMC is fully on board for Warner Brothers’ announcement today.”
Aron went on to speak on AMC’s commitment to exclusive theatrical releases but also made it clear that the company has “clearly demonstrated this year that we are flexible and remain open to evolving long-standing business models, provided that we do so in ways that improve the industry ecosystem for all players. We hope movie lovers enjoy Wonder Woman 1984 during the holidays at AMC.”
What a difference a few months and pandemic fatigue makes. If you recall, AMC refused to play any of Universal’s films following the studio’s decision to open TROLLS WORLD TOUR on premium and in theaters simultaneously. Universal released the film vid PVOD and later bragged about the $100 million in rentals the film earned in the first three weeks of release in North America. After some harsh statements were released, Universal and AMC Entertainment eventually struck an unprecedented deal to shrink the theatrical window that would allow Universal films to be available at home much sooner. AMC also made a similar deal with Cinemark just last week that also saw that window shrink. Clearly, AMC is seeing the writing on the wall and while they don’t have a deal like this with Warner Bros., a sign of unity for the theatrical and streaming release is the best-case scenario in this situation.
Do YOU agree with AMC’s support of WONDER WOMAN 1984’s release strategy?