Regal tells movie studios ‘not so fast’ with VOD

twilight_atb_12.jpgUPDATE: Statement from Regal CEO Amy Miles added.

Knoxville-based movie theater operator Regal Entertainment Group is hopping mad about a plan by four major studios to bypass theaters and offer consumers premium on-demand service.

In response, Regal has told the studios it will slash the in-theater advertising it provides for upcoming summer movies,  according to a Deadline/ Hollywood report.

That means when movie fans visit Regal theaters this spring they will see far fewer previews of the summer blockbusters coming from Fox, Sony, Warner Bros, and Universal, the studios planning to make movies available on-demand while the movies are still in theaters.

“And since this comes right before the all-important summer movie season, when balmy ticket sales usually account for 40% of the film industry’s annual revenue, it’s a counter-attack with some real power behind it,” Deadline blogger Nikki Finke writes.

It’s a risky move by Regal — reduced ticket sales hurts the theater owners as well as the studios. But it’s not like Regal has any choice but to fight back.

Regal operates theaters under the Regal, Edwards and United Artists brands.

Amy Miles statement: Regal believes that a healthy theatrical window is important to the entire movie industry and we have expressed our concerns to the studios. Based on the recent announcement regarding Premium Video on Demand, we are amending our policies for support of films from studios participating in the new VOD model. It is simply not in Regal’s best interest to utilize our resources to provide a marketing platform for the release of Premium Video on Demand movies.”

Related info:

Variety: WB, Sony, U and Fox cue premium VOD

National Association of Theater Owners: Stament on premium VOD

Photo: Knoxville News Sentinel archives