AMC Theaters To No Longer Play Universal Pictures Movies

AMC Entertainment has banned screening all Universal films in its theaters across the world. The ban was provoked by Universal Pictures releasing children’s film Trolls World Tour digitally.

In a letter to Universal Studios Chairman Donna Langley, AMC Entertainment said the move was in response to the film company’s decision to stream more movies online simultaneously with their release in theaters.

The U.S. movie theater chain has 1,000 cinema halls worldwide.

Reacting to the move, Universal said its goal in releasing Trolls: World Tour on PVOD was to deliver entertainment to people who are sheltering at home, while movie theaters and other forms of outside entertainment are unavailable due to coronavirus pandemic.

“Based on the enthusiastic response to the film, we believe we made the right move. In fact, given the choice of not releasing Trolls: World Tour, which would not only have prevented consumers from experiencing the movie but also negatively impacted our partners and employees,” the film producing and distributing company told CNBC.

Trolls World Tour is a computer-animated jukebox musical film produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by Universal Pictures.

Trolls World Tour was released in the United States in select theaters on April 10. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the film was also released on digital platforms for rental on the same day. It set several streaming records, including becoming Universal’s most successful day-one rental.

Trolls World Tour grossed a worldwide total of around $2 million. With regard to video on demand streaming, FandangoNow reported that the film had set the record for most streams on a release weekend by Universal Films. Through the first 19 days of release, it was estimated between three and five million people had streamed the film. It reportedly generated sales of nearly $100 million.

Directed by Walt Dohrn, Trolls World Tour stars Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake reprising their roles as Poppy and Branch.

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