AMC Entertainment have vowed to stop screening Universal Studios’ movies in their global cinema venues.
The company were left infuriated after NBC Universal CEO Jeff Shell reflected on the success of ‘Trolls World Tour’ being released straight to on demand services due to the coronavirus pandemic and admitted that it will signify a change of strategy for the studio.
Jeff told the Wall Street Journal: "As soon as theatres reopen, we expect to release movies on both formats."
In response, AMC boss Adam Aron insisted his chain would no longer "license any Universal movies in any of our 1,000 theatres globally on these terms".
Adam penned an open letter to Universal Studios chairman Donna Langley, in which he wrote: "This radical change by Universal to the business model that currently exists between our two companies represents nothing but downside for us and is categorically unacceptable to AMC Entertainment, the world’s largest collection of movie theatres.
"Going forward, AMC will not license any Universal movies in any of our 1,000 theatres globally on these terms.
"Accordingly, we want to be absolutely clear, so that there is no ambiguity of any kind. AMC believes that with this proposed action to go to the home and theatres simultaneously, Universal is breaking the business model and dealings between our two companies. It assumes that we will meekly accept a reshaped view of how studios and exhibitors should interact, with zero concern on Universal’s part as to how its actions affect us.
"It also presumes that Universal in fact can have its cake and eat it too, that Universal film product can be released to the home and theatres at the same time, without modification to the current economic arrangements between us."
In response, Universal have insisted they "absolutely believe in the theatrical experience and made no statement to the contrary."
However, they added: "As we stated earlier, going forward, we expect to release future films directly to theatres, as well as on PVOD when that distribution outlet makes sense."