AMC Theaters and Universal have announced a new agreement that shortens the time it takes for a theatrical movie release to come to streaming services from the typical 70-90 days to just 17 days. This means that some newly released movies will be available to stream after just 3 weekends in theaters. The deal does stipulate that only “premium rentals” at about $20 are allowed to come to streaming, while regular $3-6 rentals still have to wait 90 days.
While this deal is only between AMC Theaters and Universal films, it’s expected to set precedent for other major studios to negotiate similar deals. While we can probably expect big blockbuster films to continue to have long theatrical runs, when theaters reopen, that is, smaller films should become available to stream a lot sooner.