Regal CEO: Relationship With Studios Has Improved Since 2011 Windowing Dispute
"Our relationship with Hollywood is very solid – very different from when we were having that premium VOD conversation," says Amy Miles.
Regal Entertainment Group CEO Amy Miles on Thursday described film exhibitors' relationship with Hollywood studios as "very solid" after a 2011 showdown over premium VOD trials.
Some studios back then ran a pilot program in some pay TV homes that offered recent theatrical releases for $29.99 just 60 days after their launch on the big screen.
"Our relationship with Hollywood is very solid – very different from when we were having that premium VOD conversation, which I think goes back a couple of years," said Miles at the MKM Partners Entertainment and Leisure Conference in New York. Her session was webcast.
"In respect to windowing and the premium VOD side, what we see in the marketplace today is studios focusing more on electronic sell-through and how do you draw the customer from a rental model of content in the home to the purchase model," Miles said. "So when we look at most recent trends in windowing, it is not encroaching on theatrical."
Studios didn't brief exhibitors about the premium VOD plans in 2011, causing a backlash from big movie theater groups, such as Regal and Cinemark. Some exhibition executives said they may have to reevaluate how to promote and exhibit films before the studios stopped the trials.
The Regal CEO said she expects the annual studio film supply to remain at current levels in the future.
Miles was on Thursday also asked if exhibitors have much influence on the scheduling of films after some observers argued there were too many action and family films that hit the big screen at the same time this summer.
"The consumer has the strongest voice," she said. "The customer is speaking with his wallet." But she add: "We do spend a lot of time with Hollywood" and the partners have brought tentpole releases to times of the year that a few years ago wouldn't have seen them. Said Miles: "Today we have big blockbusters in March."
Regal CFO David Ownby also said that Regal-AMC joint venture Open Road Films also helps fill in eight to 10 movies per year where the exhibitors have open slots or needs for specific product. "We have a voice through Open Road," he said.