Cineplex Inc. has struck an agreement with Hollywood film studio Universal to shorten the exclusive theatrical release window for its movies to as little as 17 days.
The multi-year deal means Canada’s largest film exhibitor has guaranteed theatrical exclusivity for three weekends on films released by Universal Pictures before the studio can choose to make them available at home on digital rental platforms.
The decision comes as cinemas face intense pressure from film studios to agree to looser restrictions on how long movies play in theatres. The factor has only been compounded by a steep decline in moviegoers in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the terms of the Universal agreement, films that pass $50 million US at the North American box office on opening weekend will play exclusively for 31 days, or five weekends, before Universal can choose to send them to premium on…