Omdia released is recent report report “Movie Windows- Adapting for the Future,” which reveals that in 2019, the top-10 US movies earned 69.2% of their total box office gross revenue in the first two weeks of release. “In Europe and the US, the trend is for the window between theatrical and online media to shorten over time,” Maria Rua Aguete, Senior Director, Media and Entertainment at OMDIA said. “This is sometimes organic and other times by agreement."
The researcher compared the data to 63.1% for the films ranked between 41 and 50, and 40.9% for the films between 91 and 100. “The key for theatrical is how short this window can go without impacting on their business and which titles are more heavily affected,” Rua Aguete said.
For cinema exhibitors, the theatrical window serves as security for the cinema exhibition business and it ensures that it stays in place. After two decades protecting the theatrical window, however, the pandemic weakened the exhibitor’s position as a result of closures. “Covid-19 has created a unique opportunity for studios to experiment with other distribution models such as PVOD, or and to a lesser degree straight-to-streaming, without equivalent relationship damages as before,” Rua Aguete said. “Without engagement, cinemas risk being left behind as the industry debate goes on around their existential crisis. Not all windowing experiments will be successful, but the current pandemic has accelerated the ability to try them.”
This pressure on the theatrical window has led to changes: not so much accelerated but rather experimental with a view of longer-term change for those that work. Universal and AMC made a deal to collapse the window for some of the studio’s mid-level releases, with the exhibitor cut into grosses from the accompanying PVOD releases. Cinemark and Cineplex have now joined AMC in making a PVOD deal with Universal. PVOD is almost only playing out in North America and Europe. “We are expecting that many of the decisions made this year like Warner’s announcement of simultaneous releases in theaters and on HBO Max could be revised in 2021,” Rua Aguete said.
Covid-19 has created a unique opportunity for studios to experiment with other distribution models such as PVOD, or and to a lesser degree straight-to-streaming, without equivalent relationship damages as before. Without engagement, cinemas risk being left behind as the industry debate goes on around their existential crisis.” Maria Rua Aguete Senior Director, Media and Entertainment, OMDIA