Regal and AMC form joint venture to distribute films
LOS ANGELES, CA — The nation’s two largest cinema chains, AMC and Regal, have announced the formation of a joint enterprise to acquire and distribute independent films. The venture may exacerbate the increasingly tense relationship between studios and exhibitors, as the studio releases will now compete for screening space with the films distributed by the Regal-AMC operation. Apparently, the federal government’s relaxation of the rules stemming from the 1948 Consent Decree over the years contributed to the establishment of the enterprise.
AMC and Regal hope in part that by acquiring their own movies for distribution they will fill the supply-and-demand gap created by Hollywood’s downshift in movie making. From 2007 to 2010, the number of movie releases in the U.S. dropped 16%, according to Box Office Mojo. At the same time, the theater industry’s trade group estimates that the number of screens in the country has risen 3%, making fewer pictures available for a larger number of screens.
And with attendance flat over the last five years and down 5% in 2010, theater owners have been experimenting with ways to draw more people into their venues, such as showing live sports events and concerts.
There is more in the L.A. Times.