AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc AMC CEO Adam Aron is forecasting an environment where the leading streaming services will commit to running their feature films in his theaters for more than a token release.
What Happened: In an interview with Deadline at the CinemaCon trade conference for movie theater owners, Aron acknowledged getting the streaming services to put their films into a full theatrical release remains a challenge.
“We are in partnership with the studios, and we will continue to have an ongoing dialogue with every important maker of content, trying to encourage them to show movies in our theaters and, when they do, to deliver great results to them,” he said.
The streaming services currently give their feature films a theatrical run that is limited by time and geography.
“AMC would love to show Apple movies and Amazon movies and Netflix movies in our theaters and we have been in discussions on one level or another with each of these companies for quite some time,” Aron said. “But, to be fair to our existing partners, we need them to commit to a window.
“I can actually foresee a day when streamers decide they would be better off showing their movies in theaters first. It would give those movies more stature,” he said.
What Else Happened: Not every film produced and released under a streaming service’s banner gets shown on the big screen. The priority is given to productions that have a strong chance of getting nominations in the Academy Award competition or being honored by major critics’ groups. This year’s Best Picture Oscar winner, Apple's AAPL “CODA,” had a limited award-qualifying theatrical release, as did Netflix's NFLX “The Power of the Dog,” which received 12 Oscar nominations and won the Best Director Award for Jane Campion.
Aron faulted the Academy Award nomination process where Oscar voters pay tribute to “movies that very few people actually see [while] movies that moviegoers actually leave their homes for and show up in enormous numbers have often been ignored by the Academy.
“I think there would be more interest in the Oscars if movies that moviegoers had an allegiance to and an affection for were recognized with greater frequency,” he added. “That doesn’t mean it has to occur at the expense of all the smaller, artier movies the Academy has been embracing of late. But it’s no surprise that if moviegoers don’t recognize the movie, didn’t see the movie, don’t know who is in the movie, they are not going to be as excited to watch the celebration.”
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