Initially, AMC was planning on releasing their trio of The Walking Dead movies in theaters, rather than directly to the small screen via their network. However, thanks to the current coronavirus pandemic and the fact that Universal Pictures released a slew of movies directly to video-on-demand (VOD), AMC may renege on their original plan.
According to Comic Book, AMC was originally going to release their The Walking Dead movies via Universal Pictures. When the coronavirus pandemic led to the closure of movie theaters amid new social distancing rules, Universal decided to release a variety of their upcoming movies directly to on-demand viewing.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, this angered plenty of movie theaters, due to the loss of potential revenue. This included AMC Theatres, which is one of the largest movie theater chains in the world.
Universal Pictures CEO Jeff Shell also stated they planned to continue releasing movies to VOD as well as into theaters. This came after the success of the early release of Trolls World Tour.
In response to this statement, AMC Theatres declared they would no longer play Universal movies in their theaters. Regal Cinemas also joined AMC in stating they planned to steer clear of playing Universal movies in the future.
Universal responded to these statements, stating they “absolutely believe in the theatrical experience and have made no statement to the contrary.”
“As we stated earlier, going forward, we expect to release future films directly to theatres, as well as on PVOD when that distribution outlet makes sense,” they continued.
— The Walking Dead on AMC (@WalkingDead_AMC) July 19, 2019
While AMC and Regal have stated that they will no longer play Universal movies at their theaters, there are still plenty of other providers who are staying out of the stoush. This could be an indicator that this is an initial kneejerk reaction to the current situation and things may calm down later. After all, the studios and theaters are a symbiotic pairing and need each other to help keep things running smoothly.
Of course, there is still plenty of time left for AMC and Regal to back down from their stance regarding Universal and allow The Walking Dead films to be theatrically released. After all, the movies are still in the development stage. Due to further delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic, by the time the films are ready to be released, the situation between the theaters and the movie studio may already be settled.
However, for those who are used to getting their Walking Dead fix from their lounge room, this potential split may be just the news they have been waiting for.