Cineworld and Regal will keep the window as is
29 Apr, 2020, 13:56 ET
KNOXVILLE, Tenn., April 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Cineworld and Regal's policy with respect to the window is clear, well known in the industry and is part of our commercial deal with our movie suppliers. We invest heavily in our cinemas across the globe and this allows the movie studios to provide customers all around the world the opportunity to watch movies in the best experience. There is no argument that the big screen is the best way to watch a movie.
Universal unilaterally chose to break our understanding and did so at the height of the Covid-19 crisis when our business is closed, more than 35,000 employees are at home and when we do not yet have a clear date for the reopening of our cinemas.
Universal's move is completely inappropriate and certainly has nothing to do with good faith business practice, partnership and transparency.
Mooky Greidinger, Cineworld's CEO approached Brian Roberts, the Chairman of Comcast, back on the 19th of March (after Universal announced that Trolls 2 would be released in breach of the window) and told him among other things that:
"Nice words from your team are worthless if we cannot trust you as a partner. The message that the media has portrayed is: "Hollywood breaks the window" - well, this is not true! All our partners called us in a timely manner and told us that in the current situation they want to shorten the window for movies that were already released as cinemas are closing, most importantly, they all reassured us that there will be no change to their window policy once the cinema business returned. Unfortunately I missed a similar message in Universal's announcement... not only did Universal provide no commitment for the future window - but Universal was the ONLY studio that tried to take advantage of the current crisis and provide a 'day-and-date' release of a movie that was not yet released."
Cineworld's roots go back 90 years in the industry and it was always open to showing any movie as long as the rules were kept and not changed by one-sided moves. Today we make it clear again that we will not be showing movies that fail to respect the windows as it does not make any economic sense for us.
We have full confidence in the industry's current business model. No one should forget that the theatrical side of this industry generated an all-time record income of $42 billion last year and the movie distributors' share of this was about $20 billion.
Cineworld aims to be the best place to watch a movie, offering an unparalleled cinema experience in the UK & Ireland, with 102 cinemas and over 1,030 screens. Cineworld Group was founded in 1995 and is currently the second largest cinema chain in the world following the acquisition of US cinema group Regal Entertainment Group in February 2018. In 2014, the Cineworld Group combined with Cinema City International (CCI) and appointed CCI Founder and CEO Mooky Greidinger, as CEO of the Cineworld Group. In August 2016 Cineworld acquired 5 Empire Cinemas, including the iconic Empire Theatre in Leicester Square. This was followed by the acquisition of Empire Newcastle in 2017. Cineworld currently has 24 IMAX® auditoriums, and 15 Superscreens nationwide, as well as a special VIP experience currently available at 5 of their cinemas. Cineworld are the only operators in the UK to offer ScreenX – a 270-degree format that projects onto the front and side walls of the theatre across 16 auditoriums and 4DX – the immersive multi-sensory cinema experience, with 30 auditoriums across the UK and Ireland, including Cineworld Leicester Square.
Regal, a subsidiary of the Cineworld Group, operates one of the largest and most geographically diverse theatre circuits in the United States, consisting of 7,155 screens in 542 theatres in 42 states along with the District of Columbia and Guam as of March 31, 2020. We believe that the size, reach and quality of the company's theatre circuit provides its patrons with a convenient and enjoyable moviegoing experience. We are committed to being "The Best Place to Watch a Movie!" Additional information is available on Regal's website: www.REGmovies.com
Richard M. Grover
Regal, Vice President of Communications
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