Published Apr 29, 2020Look, we've all been cooped up in our homes for upwards of two months at this point. It makes sense that we'd be having increased tensions and maybe even some irrational arguments with those around us. But still, no amount of coronavirus stir craziness can justify the film industry meltdown currently unfolding because of a movie called Trolls World Tour.
Earlier this month, Trolls World Tour skipped its planned theatrical release to instead be released digitally on April 10. The movie went on to make $100 million USD in rental fees.
This impressive financial win led NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell to tell the Wall Street Journal that the film "exceeded our expectations and demonstrated the viability" on video-on-demand, adding, "As soon as theatres reopen we expect to release movies on both formats."
Adam Aron, CEO of America's largest cinema chain AMC, took that quote harshly and proceeded to lose his shit.
In an open letter released by AMC [via CNN], the company conceded that the release of Trolls World Tour was an "exception" in "unprecedented times." He went on to add that Universal is straight-up banned from AMC now.
"Effectively immediately AMC (AMC) will no longer play any Universal movies in any of our theaters in the United States, Europe or the Middle East," Aron said.
He added that the policy is "not some hollow or ill-considered threat" and will apply to "any movie maker who unilaterally abandons current windowing practices absent good faith negotiations between us, so that they as distributor and we as exhibitor both benefit and neither are hurt from such changes."
Universal bounced back, saying, "Our goal in releasing Trolls World Tour was to deliver entertainment to people who are sheltering at home, while movie theatres and other forms of outside entertainment are unavailable.... Based on the enthusiastic response to the film, we believe we made the right move."
Still, while the release of Trolls World Tour may have been a win for humanity, it may have poisoned the well for the future of cinema.