TORONTO and UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif., Nov. 20, 2020 /CNW/ – Cineplex (TSX: CGX), Canada’s largest and most innovative film exhibitor, and Universal Filmed Entertainment Group (UFEG) today announced a multi-year agreement for theatrical exclusivity windows in the Canadian market. This new dynamic window agreement between the two companies preserves the theatrical experience, while adapting to changing consumer behaviour, particularly as the world and the entertainment industry navigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The two companies are committed to creating a sustainable model for years to come.
Similar to the agreements that Universal has established with other major exhibitors, coming into effect immediately, the agreement guarantees at least three full weekends (17 days) of theatrical exclusivity for all Universal Pictures and Focus Features theatrical releases, at which point the studio will have the option to make its titles available across premium video on demand (PVOD) platforms, including the Cineplex Store. Under the terms of the deal, any title that has a North American opening weekend box office of $50 million or more, including franchise titles, will play exclusively in theatres for at least five full weekends (31 days) before the title can be made available on PVOD.
“The pandemic has given the industry and movie-lovers around the globe a new appreciation for the magic of the big screen experience,” said Ellis Jacob, President and CEO, Cineplex. “We are pleased to work alongside like-minded partners such as Universal, a studio that respects the theatrical window and is committed to the sustainable long-term health of the theatrical ecosystem.”
“With audience fragmentation accelerating due to the rise in digital, streaming and cord cutting, as well as the unprecedented issues our industry is facing right now, our relationship with exhibition had to evolve and adapt to the changing distribution landscape,” said Donna Langley, Chairman, UFEG. “Giving consumers the flexibility to view content on their terms is more important than ever to help expand moviegoing, and Ellis and our partners at Cineplex allow us to increase these opportunities for our Canadian audience.”
The full terms of the deal are confidential and are not being disclosed.
UFEG’s film slate, including titles from Universal Pictures, Focus Features and DreamWorks Animation, has five theatrical releases remaining on the 2020 calendar: The Croods: A New Age (11/25), Half Brothers (12/4), All My Life (12/4), News of the World (12/25) and Promising Young Woman (12/25).
Cineplex (TSX: CGX) is a top-tier Canadian brand that operates in the film entertainment and content, amusement and leisure, and media sectors. As a leading entertainment and media company, Cineplex welcomes millions of guests annually through its circuit of theatres and location-based entertainment (“LBE”) venues across the country. In addition to being Canada’s largest and most innovative film exhibitor, Cineplex also operates successful businesses in digital commerce (CineplexStore.com), food service, alternative programming (Cineplex Events), cinema media (Cineplex Media), digital place-based media (Cineplex Digital Media “CDM”) and amusement solutions (Player One Amusement Group “P1AG”). Additionally, Cineplex operates an LBE business through Canada’s newest destinations for ‘Eats & Entertainment’ (The Rec Room), and entertainment complexes specifically designed for teens and families (Playdium). Cineplex is a joint venture partner in SCENE, Canada’s largest entertainment loyalty program.
Proudly recognized as having one of the country’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures, Cineplex employs approximately 13,000 people in its offices across Canada and the United States. To learn more visit Cineplex.com or download the Cineplex App.
About Universal Filmed Entertainment Group:
Universal Filmed Entertainment Group (UFEG) produces, acquires, markets and distributes filmed entertainment worldwide in various media formats for theatrical, home entertainment, television and other distribution platforms. The global division includes Universal Pictures, Focus Features, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, DreamWorks Animation Film and Television. UFEG is part of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production and marketing of entertainment, news and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, world-renowned theme parks and a suite of leading Internet-based businesses. NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.