Universal Films Will Now Be Available Digitally 17 Days After Premiering in Theaters

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As people are growing more used to at-home entertainment, the movie business is changing at a rapid pace amid the pandemic.

Earlier this year, AMC Theaters declared it would refuse to play films released by Universal Pictures. Now, the two companies struck a deal allowing Universal films to once again play at AMC venues — but only for 17 days.

According to The New York Times. Universal has the right to go straight-to-virtual after 17 days of playing in the theaters. Furthermore, the company can also be selective about which films it chooses to release, and they can opt to extend that window for some of its bigger franchises.

Previously, Universal had a nearly three-month window for movies playing in theaters before going digital.

“The theatrical experience continues to be the cornerstone of our business,” Donna Langley, chairman of the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, said in a statement. “The partnership we’ve forged with AMC is driven by our collective desire to ensure a thriving future for the film distribution ecosystem and to meet consumer demand with flexibility and optionality.”

Universal has tried to limit the theatrical window for years but backed down amid boycotts from AMC and other large theater chains.

Clearly it’s a win for Universal, but we can’t help but wonder: Are movie theaters on borrowed time? We hope not.