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Ask any Hollywood insider, and there's a good number of them that'll tell you that movie theaters are going the way of the dinosaurs. With supposedly diminishing returns, concerns for safety and security, and many social problems plaguing the traditional method of movie enjoyment, studios are trying to shrink the window between the big screen and the small screen as much as possible. A lot of theater chains would be quite cross with such behavior, but AMC Theaters is just fine with working together with the studio system, in order to make the transition to the living room quicker and easier... for a cost.
When asked recently about whether AMC Theaters would be ok with such a team-up, the company brass basically said they'd be a-ok with helping premium video on-demand bring blockbuster films to the living rooms of the eager viewers all the quicker. However, their agreeable nature with the process is contingent on there being more of the profits being kicked back to the theaters than usual, to ensure that they won't go wanting if Disney decides they want to put Star Wars: The Last Jedi on VOD earlier than usual.
It's not wrong for movie theater chains like AMC Theaters to start asking for such deals. With Netflix starting to snatch up projects left and right, and skipping theatrical release altogether, that's a lot of money that theaters could potentially be cashing in on. Nowhere is that more apparent than the success of Adam Sandler's strings of films that are made exclusively for distribution on the streaming platform. If The Do-Over or even Sandy Wexler were released to theaters, some of the half a million hours that have been logged by Netflix customers could have translated into some hardcore box office dollars.
If studios like Warner Bros and theaters like AMC Theaters can team up to stick it to streaming media, it'd be a step in the direction of preserving the theatrical experience. Not to mention it might help make up for the disparity between how much studios and distributors make versus the theatrical chain's cut when it comes to ticket sales. As The Wrap's item is eager to point out, it's the economic argument that puts this sort of deal up in the air, and it could take some time for such a deal to be made, if one is even able to be had. And if it's going to happen, the road to such a deal might be harder than anyone would imagine.
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