AMC Entertainment CFO: Studios Won’t Take “Nuclear Option” With PVOD

Deadline | 9/13/2017 | David Lieberman
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Not so fast on the talk about premium video on demand, AMC Entertainment CFO Craig Ramsey told investors today.

The world’s biggest exhibition chain — owned by China’s Wanda Group — is talking to studios about a plan to offer movies to home viewers within the 90-day period when theaters typically have exclusive rights.

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But “we’re not seeing a lot of movement….it would be a stretch to say we’re negotiating around a solution,” he told the Goldman Sachs Annual Communacopia Conference. So far he hasn’t seen “a proposal we’re willing to sign up for.”

And he says he doesn’t fear that some studios will unilaterally decide to offer PVOD — possibly leading theaters to respond by refusing to show their movies.

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“I haven’t heard a lot of conversation about the nuclear option,” Ramsey says. “No one wins in that kind of a nuclear scenario…The loser there is our guest, the consumer.”

Earlier today Fox Executive Chairman Lachlan Murdoch told the gathering that the status quo “will change sooner rather than later” — at least within the next 12 months.

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Studios are eager to change, he said, because their films become exhausted at theaters after 45 days leaving another 45 when “the consumer can’t access that content anywhere no matter what they’re willing to pay or do….A lot of piracy happens in that 45 days.”

Asked about this year’s weaker than expected Q2 and summer box office sales, the AMC CFO says that’s probably just a temporary blip.

Moviegoing - Cycles - Pick

“We’ve seen it before,” he says. “Moviegoing goes through some cycles” that pick...
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