First signs that exclusive cinema window might tighten

The inside of a cinema
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The cinema-exclusive window of four months could be altered as the film industry looks to respond to Coronavirus.

With cinemas around the world starting to close and many new film releases being delayed, questions we understand are now being asked about the exclusive cinema window for many movies.

As things stand in the UK, there’s a four month period of exclusivity in force for cinemas, before the home entertainment release of a movie. This is for films on wide release in the UK. Yet in the light of current circumstances, there’s pressure on whether that can be and should be still in place when there’s so much uncertainty around.

We’ve already seen a little bit of movement on this in the US. In the States – where the exclusivity window is 90 days, thus accounting for the fact America tends to get home entertainment releases a month ahead of the UK – Disney has announced it’s fast-tracking Frozen II and Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker to its streaming service. Granted, it’s still observed the window in both cases, but it’s the first high profile sign of a chance in approach that notwithstanding.

For a bunch of films that aren’t major blockbusters, some kind of premium video on demand release may currently be the most tangible option. Furthermore, there’s also the small factor that the prime home entertainment release window – from October to December – is currently not going to have that many major films in it, given that a lot of summer blockbusters are no longer coming out on time.

Lots of decisions clearly have to be made here, and at least some discussions are underway. We’ll keep you posted as we hear more.

Image: BigStock

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