Various cinema chains have seemingly gone to war with Universal – the studio behind the Jurassic Park and Fast and Furious movies – over recent comments following the success of Trolls World Tour's home release. AMC Theatres (who own Odeon in the United Kingdom) has pledged to no longer show Universal movies, while Cineworld (who own Regal theatres in the United States) have said they will not play Universal movies if they do not "respect" release windows.
However, one cinema chain has gone against its peers and decided that, once cinemas reopen following the coronavirus pandemic, they will show Universal properties. Vue Cinemas’ chief executive Tim Richards has said that Universal has been a "great" partner and that Vue will continue to show its movies.
“We intend to help promote and market their movies so they can be shown on our screens,” he told The Times. “They had already spent very heavily on marketing [Trolls World Tour] and suddenly there were no screens to actually play it.”
Universal has made over $100 million from the home release of the Trolls sequel. CEO for NBCUniversal, Jeff Shell, said that, following that success, we should expect his studio "to release movies on both formats". The comments led to an immediate backlash, with AMC Theatres calling them "unacceptable" and Cineworld saying “Universal’s move is completely inappropriate".
Universal was quick to respond to AMC's drastic stance, a spokesman clarifying that they "absolutely believe in the theatrical experience and have made no statement to the contrary." They added that we can still expect future releases to reach both cinemas and homes "when that distribution outlet makes sense."
The studios biggest franchises include the Fast and Furious movies, the James Bond movies (internationally but not North America), Jurassic Park, Universal's monster movies, and any upcoming Lego movies.