Marcus Theaters Won’t Be Banning Universal Pictures Movies Yet

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Amid the controversy surrounding the feud between Universal Pictures and AMC Theatres, Marcus Theatres has unofficially announced that they’ll continue showing the former’s new titles.

Now that the novel coronavirus pandemic has essentially caused the entertainment industry to come to a halt and shut down almost every major theater company around the globe, it’s more essential than ever to discuss the matter of VOD movie releases. Even AMC, which owns the largest cinema chain in the world, is in serious trouble due to COVID-19. Meanwhile, Universal Pictures has thrived in this situation and gained a record-breaking success with the release of Trolls World Tour on home platforms, grossing $100 million through digital sales alone, so far.

After the distributor announced that they wish to continue releasing their movies in theaters and as well as on streaming services, even after social restrictions are lifted, AMC Theatres put up a ban on all Universal films. Soon enough, several other theater chains like Regal Cinemas followed suit. It would seem, though, that Marcus Theatres, the fourth largest exhibitor in the United States, won’t be banning these features just yet.

In a recent industry conference call, vice president Sonny Gourley confirmed that Marcus is still planning to play Universal’s theatrical films, including F9Minions: The Rise of Gru and Candyman. Though he also emphasized that these would be “theatrical titles” and not those designated for home release as well.

Additionally, J. Sperling Reich, who was the moderator of the call, pointed out that Dalian Wanda, AMC Theatres’ largest stake owner, also owns Legendary Entertainment, a studio heavily affiliated with Universal Pictures. So, in theory, AMC may not be able to really ban Universal Pictures‘ titles after all.

The theater chains actually have a point in this squabble though, as they’d lose much of their revenue if more distributors decided to simultaneously release their movies on streaming platforms, but with the industry shifting more and more towards giving people the choice to go to the cinema or watch movies in the comfort of their own home, the two household names will eventually have to find a middle ground and settle on a deal.