Join us at participating Odeon Cinemas across the U.K & Ireland on Tuesday 22nd December for a special screening of Idris Elba’s directorial debut, Yardie. The screening will also include a Q&A with lead actor Aml Ameen (Kidulthood, Maze Runner).
“Set in ’70s Kingston and ’80s Hackney, Yardie centres on the life of a young Jamaican man named D (Aml Ameen), who has never fully recovered from the murder, committed during his childhood, of his older brother Jerry Dread (Everaldo Creary). D grows up under the wing of a Kingston Don and music producer named King Fox (Sheldon Shepherd). Fox dispatches him to London, where he reconnects with his childhood sweetheart, Yvonne (Shantol Jackson), and his daughter who he’s not seen since she was a baby.“
With the global pandemic, movie theatres, like many businesses have been forced to shut down. People were advised to stay at home, and only leave the house for essentials. So trips to the cinema weren’t included. As the pandemic has gone on, some smaller businesses have unfortunately had to close for good. Many surviving businesses will likely take time to recover. A recent report indicated that AMC Theatres could be seeking a buyer. AMC also owns the Odeon chain in the UK. The potential buyer? Amazon. Yes that Amazon.
So could Amazon really own a cinema chain? And what would that mean for cinemas?
What’s this all about?
Streaming services have been invaluable while everyone is in lockdown, and Prime has been a heavy hitter for a while. Especially in the UK, which didn’t get Disney+ until a few months ago. Amazon Prime has the added benefit of additional discounts from the main site. It also lets users rent and purchase many films, even if they don’t have prime, unlike most other services.
If Amazon did this, it’s likely other streaming services would follow suit. Disney is a likely contender. Along with Universal, they have been less concerned with cinemas, releasing films soon after theatrical releases. If these studios begin buying up cinemas, they could have the best of both worlds. Many cinema chains are refusing to show Universal movies if they continue ignoring the theatrical window. This could potentially lead to a scenario where huge franchises are only available in certain cinemas. You could watch Fast and Furious 9 at your local, but then have to travel to a Disney owned chain for the new Star Wars. Imagine the streaming wars, but with actual cinemas!
This would give studios complete control over films, with potentially much more “studio interference“. Director’s Cut’s would be very hard to produce as they would now be tangled up in rights issues. It would also be much harder for directors or actors to leave a project or refuse one.
Luckily, it seems like these talks may just be rumours, as neither company has confirmed they are actually happening, but if it did happen, it could be very bad news for everyone but the studios.
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