You may recall that I predicted this a few weeks ago during the kerfuffle between movie theater chain AMC and Universal Pictures. When Universal threatened to start sending more of their movies directly to livestreaming, AMC announced that their theaters would no longer be exhibiting any Universal movies. It was a pissing contest, and I said that they’d work out a deal sooner rather than later, as neither could survive without the other. That deal I predicted was reached this past week. The result is that the “window” has grown smaller.
The “window” is the period of time between when a movie opens in theaters and when it becomes available on video. The standard used to be ninety days. The new rule is that movies can go to digital in just three weeks. Expect this to become the go-to arrangement across the board with all theater chains, and probably with all movie studios, in the near future.
This does not, mean, however, that you’ll be seeing the next big blockbuster movie three weeks after its theatrical opening. The studio has the option to do it, but it wouldn’t make any sense financially for them to do it. They’d want to leave the movie in theaters for as long as possible, because that equates to more profit. For films with smaller budgets, though—like all those upcoming Universal Monsters remakes, for example—it would be an option, or for movies that underperformed at the box office. Those you might get to see sooner at home than previously.