Cinemark Has Theatrical Deals With Five Major Studios; Some Go Months, Some Years; CEO Says Netflix ‘Army Of The Dead’ Pact “First Of Many” For Chain

APhoto/El Paso Times, Victor Calzada

Big movie chain Cinemark announced Friday it’s now reached agreements to theatrically showcase films from all five major studio partners across its U.S. theaters, although it didn’t provide terms or many details.

On a conference call with analysts to discuss the exhibitor’s just released first-quarter financials, CEO Mark Zoradi called each of the five deals “different and unique.”

The announcement builds upon the exhibitor’s November agreement with Universal and includes deals with Warner Bros. Walt Disney, Paramount and Sony. It also follows news that Cinemark will play Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead on May 14 for one week ahead of its streaming release on Netflix.

On the studio agreements, Universal was first “and in the course of the last sixty days the chain has completed deals with the other four,” Zoradi said. Each has “unique attributes specific to the individual studio that mutually benefits both parties. The full terms of the deals are confidential and are not being disclosed.”

Wall Streeters on the call tried to pry out what they could. Asked about splits, Zoradi said, “The big picture is, I wouldn’t look for any significant change relative to splits. What we tried to do with each one of them is look at the desires of each studio, and each has priorities, and tried to adapt our deal with each one. At end of the day, looking at what our film rental will be, I don’t think there will be a material difference in how we will split the box office.”

On the Army of the Dead deal, he said, “We anticipate this to be first of many. We have a very strong relationship with Netflix on our film team up through the executive ranks. Netflix has got some great movies where filmmakers and talent want to have theatrical exposure and we will find a way… to find out how to do do that. Sometimes it will be shorter windows, sometimes longer. We will find a way with Netflix and hopefully other streamers.”

Collectively, Cinemark said, the big studio agreements secure a consistent supply of content and demonstrate “a shared commitment to offering consumers the ultimate movie-viewing experience, with compelling content exhibited within the theatrical environment.”

“Cinemark is thrilled to have reached new agreements with our major studio partners, and we are eager to continue providing movie fans an immersive, larger-than-life cinematic environment to see major upcoming films, ranging from the biggest blockbusters to specialty fare to family-friendly content,” said a press release before the call.

“In our ongoing efforts to maximize attendance and box office during the pandemic and beyond, our goal is to provide the widest range of content with terms that are in the best long-term interests of Cinemark, our studio partners and moviegoers. We are pleased with these recent developments and are confident we are taking positive steps toward reigniting theatrical exhibition and evolving the industry for a post-pandemic landscape,” the company said.

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