AMC Theatres, Universal reach deal to bring new movies to homes earlier

The lobby of the AMC theatre is pictured during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Burbank, California, US, June 30, 2020. Reuters
AMC Theatres and Comcast Corp's Universal Pictures agreed to a major shift that will allow the studio's movies to be made available to US audiences at home after just three weekends in cinemas, the companies announced on Tuesday.

AMC, the world's largest movie theatre chain, will receive a portion of the revenue that Universal generates from "premium video-on-demand" sales during the first weeks a film is offered to at-home viewers.

Financial details, including the price for early home viewing, were not disclosed.

Studios have been pushing to make their movies available in homes sooner than the typical timeline of roughly 90 days. Theatres have long resisted that idea, and the standoff had prompted AMC to say earlier this year it would no longer show Universal films in its cinemas.

"AMC enthusiastically embraces this new industry model both because we are participating in the entirety of the economics of the new structure, and because premium video-on-demand creates the added potential for increased movie studio profitability, which should in turn lead to the green-lighting of more theatrical movies," AMC's chief executive, Adam Aron, said in a statement.

Universal distributes the "Fast & Furious" and "Despicable Me" franchises, among other films.