Regal CEO Backs Shortened Theatrical Windowing by Major Studios

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Regal Entertainment Group CEO Amy Miles

"As long as we can find a solution that grows the overall pie, we think it could be good for the overall industry," Amy Miles told an investors conference.

Regal Entertainment Group CEO Amy Miles on Monday talked up shortened theatrical windows that would see new movies released in homes sooner than within 90 days of a commercial release. But she warned against a premium VOD rollout that wasn't incremental for movie exhibitors and distributors alike.

"There's a lot of things that are very positive from a theatrical perspective, but no one, on our side or in distribution, wants to do anything that has uneconomic cannibalization," the exec told the Deutsche Bank Media & Telecom Conference during a session that was webcast.

Miles confirmed discussions continue between major studios and exhibitors about possibly offering movies in a premium VOD window soon after their cinema run. She added any deal to emerge from those talks cannot eat into the existing theatrical business.

"We both have very much aligned interests to make sure that ... changes happen in a manner where you try to find incremental revenues," Miles told investors. Streaming giant Netflix has changed the way movies get released, bringing them directly to consumer's homes without a theatrical release.

But she argued the theatrical experience is worth preserving, given 2015 and 2016 were record years for Hollywood box office, a feat likely to be repeated this year. "As long as we can find a solution that grows the overall pie, we think it could be good for the overall industry," said the exec.

Added Miles, "We need to be prudent and cautious and ensure as we have these conversations with direct partners, there's no unintended consequences from changed windows."

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