Regal Owner Cineworld and Disney Reach Theatrical Window Deal

The world’s second largest distributor previously inked deals with Warner Bros. and this week Universal

Brian Welk

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After just this week closing a deal with Universal on shorter theatrical windows, Regal Cinema owner Cineworld has now reached an agreement with The Walt Disney Company to show the studio’s movies in the U.S. and the U.K., an individual with knowledge of the deal told TheWrap.

The deal will include the upcoming films that Disney plans to release day-and-date in theaters and through Premier Access on Disney+, including the upcoming “Cruella,” “Black Widow” and “Jungle Cruise.” But it also includes the films that Disney on Thursday’s earnings call confirmed will receive a 45-day theatrical exclusive window, those being “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” and the 20th Century Studios title “Free Guy.” Both of those films arrive in the late summer and early fall.

The 45-day theatrical window will apply for both U.S. and U.K. cinema locations.

In comparison, Cineworld’s deal with Universal that was reported on Thursday will be for a 17-day exclusive window in theaters in the U.S., after which Universal will have the option to make a film available as a premium video on-demand offering. If a film earns an opening weekend of more than $50 million, the theatrical exclusivity period will be extended to 31 days. In the U.K. however, theatrical exclusivity will be guaranteed for all films for 31 days, with that window extending to 45 days if the film reaches an agreed-upon opening weekend benchmark.

Cineworld now has deals in place with Disney, Universal and Warner Bros, with which they have 45 days of theatrical exclusivity in Regal locations starting in 2022. The company is also in talks with other studios about their own windowing terms.

The deal comes as major theater chains continue to make bespoke theatrical window agreements with each major studio as the pandemic has forced the industry-wide 90-day theatrical exclusivity period into extinction. Last week, Cinemark announced in its quarterly earnings report that it has made window deals with Disney, Universal, Sony, Warner Bros. and Paramount, though the details remain confidential.

The deals are also reflective of decades-long trends in the box office as the vast majority of films are making most of their theatrical revenue in the first month of release. Universal franchises like “Fast & Furious” and “Jurassic World” have seen recent installments gross over 90% of their global totals within the first 31 days of release.

Regal reopened all of its cinemas in the U.S. last month, while Cineworld locations in the U.K. will reopen next week.

Deadline first reported the news.

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