By Stephen Ippolito | July 31st
On Tuesday, AMC and Universal announced a historic deal that allows the studio to put their films on premium video-on-demand after only 17 days in theaters. Previously theater chains had a three-month window to exclusively show the studio’s films. But with the rise of VOD in recent years, and the fact that studios get a higher percentage of that purchase, shortening the window is something Universal had been looking to do for a while.
The question now becomes will Disney, parent company of Marvel Studios, look to make a similar deal with the largest theater chain company in the U.S.? The answer seems to be no. According to Variety, AMC has already reached out to The House of Mouse to offer a similar deal. However, according to the outlet, they declined. So you won’t be watching Black Widow or any other MCU Phase 4 films in your home weeks after it comes out on the big screen.
The reason Disney prefers to keep things the same is that they think individual ticket sales are more rewarding than VOD purchases. Instead of everyone having to pay to watch, only one purchase (usually $20) is made. Also, by giving fans the option to wait until it’s out on-demand, some might hold off and wait till they can watch it in their own home. In turn, the studio would lose on ticket sales and not make it up on VOD or Disney+.
Another reason is that unlike their competition, they have been killing it at the domestic box-office. In 2019 their film earnings represented 40% of the overall market. Worldwide they also had seven films gross over a billion dollars. This includes Avengers: Endgame ($2.8 Billion) and Captain Marvel ($1.1 Billion.) Another film that they co-produced with Sony, Spider-Man: Far From Home, also brought in over a Billion.