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Universal and AMC agree deal that could change cinemas and streaming forever

(Image credit: Universal Studios)

Universal and AMC (who also own Odeon in the UK) have ended its impasse and agreed a deal which not only allows Universal movies such as Fast 9 back into AMC theatres in future, but also could change the landscape of cinemas and streaming forever.

As per Deadline (opens in new tab), Universal movies will now only have to appear in AMC cinemas for a grand total of 17 days before they can head to digital services for rental and purchase from the comfort of your own home.

The original dispute, revolving around Trolls: World Tour (of all films), saw AMC take umbrage with the animated movie going straight onto video-on-demand instead of a theatrical run. That led to AMC banning Universal movies outright (opens in new tab).

Instead of waiting months for some mid-budget films to hit digital storefronts, you’re now looking at just over two weeks (three weekends) – a move that could give indie titles and more under-the-radar sleeper hits a new lease of life instead of a barren period playing to half-empty screens.

Just don’t expect the likes of Fast 9 and Jurassic World: Dominion to go flying into iTunes weeks after their premieres. Deadline says Universal “won’t simply cut and run and put the feature on [video-on-demand]” if a title is performing well.

But with the option there to go digital – and the world currently as it is – there’s never been a better time to forge forward with alternate means of watching some of your favourite movies.

Let’s hope other studios and movie chains follow suit. It’s no exaggeration to suggest this could be the first step in a historic shake-up for an industry that had become increasingly averse to moving with the times.

I'm the Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.