In what doesn’t come as shocking news, AMC Entertainment chairman and CEO Adam Aron said Monday that the No. 1 theater chain has inked a deal with Warner Bros, ensuring a 45-day theatrical window for the studio’s releases in 2022. Warners previously hammered out a 45-day theatrical window with No. 2 circuit Cineworld, and its U.S. counterpart Regal, earlier this year as the Burbank, CA studio was slammed by the industry and talent reps for its day-and-date theatrical-HBO Max streaming model.
The news came in a flurry of announcement by Aron during a call after AMC released second-quarter earnings, including the chain picking up eight older Arclight Cinemas leases, three of which are in L.A. (two of them — The Grove in LA and The Americana at Brand in Glendale — we already knew about).
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“We’re especially pleased that Warners has has decided to move away from day-and-date releases and commit to theatrical windows as well,” said Aron. “We’re having conversations with other movie studios in Hollywood.”
Aron said that studios’ experimenting with the theatrical window was as a result of the pandemic, adding, “We’re seeing the consensus that exclusive theatrical window is a good way to build major motion picture franchises.”
This past weekend, Warner Bros’ critically acclaimed James Gunn DC movie The Suicide Squad tanked at the domestic box office with $26.5 million, under its $30M-plus projection. The pic’s availability free to HBO Max subscribers is largely to blame, as well as the decline in fanboy sentiment with the franchise. There’s also some concern by a few that the booming Delta variant can be easily blamed.
Despite opening some day-and-date movies to $20M-$30M+, Warner Bros’ theatrical titles that were also available on HBO Max suffered sharp second-weekend declines at the box office. Most recently, Space Jam: A New Legacy plummeted 69%.
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