(Pocket-lint) - In these unusual times, the face of cinema has already changed: NBCUniversal's Trolls World Tour was forced to skip its theatrical release, going straight to Premium Video on Demand (PVOD). It was, however, a huge success - taking over $100m in its first three weeks.

However, AMC - which runs one of the largest theatre chains in the US - did not like Universal's plans to promise further home day-and-date PVOD releases in future, threatening to boycott showing Universal movies from its showreels in the US, Europe and beyond.

It seemed to spell the beginnings of the death of cinema. But after being at loggerheads an agreement has been met: Universal's pictures will now get a 17 day exclusivity at theatres.

But that's not a huge amount of time - certainly a significant reduction on the 90 days or more of exclusivity that's the typical norm. Potential cinema-goers would have to be extra keen to cram into a screening within the first two-and-a-half-weeks of release, otherwise a PVOD purchase could make greater sense for many customers.

And with physical media not the boom it once was, getting viewers to pay top dollar for releases at their freshest is the surest way to make the biggest income at release date.

So how did such a deal get the green light? A revenue share, of course. After three weekends of theatre play it is thought - although not confirmed - that PVOD revenue will be shared. That sure sounds like another future argument, as the world adapts to the current crisis.

So is it the death of cinema? Or is this a backbone to help cinema remain? Time will tell...

Writing by Mike Lowe.
  • Via: Universal's deal with AMC shortens theatrical exclusivity to 17 days - engadget.com
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