DJ 33 1/3

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Universal & Cinemark Agree On A New Release Deal

Universal Pictures and Cinemark announced a multiyear agreement that guarantees three full weekends, or 17 days, of theatrical exclusivity for Universal and Focus Feature titles before a film can become available to rent on demand.

Films that open to $50 million or more will stay in theaters exclusively for at least five full weekends, or 31 days.

Universal is the only studio to reach this kind of agreement with a cinema chain.

“Universal’s century-long partnership with exhibition is rooted in the theatrical experience, and we are more committed than ever for audiences to experience our movies on the big screen,” said Donna Langley, the chairman of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, in a statement.

“We have been talking to multiple studios about doing a version of dynamic windowing for quite some time, even going back pre-COVID," said Cinemark CEO Mark Zoradi. “With COVID and the reduced amount of content, it just made sense to accelerate this."

The flexibility to ensure that blockbusters would have a longer exclusive run in theaters was key for the company, and each movie will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Universal and Focus still have a number of films on the release calendar including the animated “The Croods: A New Age,” out Nov. 25, as well as the Tom Hanks film “News of the World" and “Promising Young Woman,” both out on Christmas.

Photos by Getty Images

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