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Donna Langley Believes Gen Z Will Keep Going to Movie Theaters: ‘Meet Audiences Where They Are’

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Donna Langley Believes Gen Z Will Keep Going to Movie Theaters: ‘Meet Audiences Where They Are’

Donna Langley knows there is a lot of uncertainty in Hollywood’s future, but she believes the answer for Universal is simply to embrace the change and to keep “meeting audiences where they are.”

The chairman and chief content officer of NBCUniversal Studio Group sat down with veteran entertainment attorney Ken Ziffren at UCLA Law’s Entertainment Symposium on Friday to discuss the long-term vision for her studio, both with theatrical and its streaming service Peacock.

“Consumer behavior has shifted, and it is probably not coming back,” Langley noted. “One of the things we’ve focused on is that pre-pandemic, the majority of the moviegoing audience would see four or five films in theaters a year. That same number of people are now seeing one or two films.”

Langley attributed that to a mix of factors, including the disruption brought by COVID-19 and last year’s industry strikes, which heavily impacted the number of films in theaters over the past three years. But she also acknowledged that the audience is now used to being able to see films at home “faster than they did before,” in part because of changes to theatrical windowing through deals such as the landmark one made between Universal and AMC in 2020 during the pandemic.

That deal allowed Universal to put theatrical films on premium on-demand as early as 17 days after theatrical release if they had an opening weekend of less than $50 million, or after 31 days if the opening weekend was above $50 million. While Langley says that Universal is committed to releasing as many films as possible in theaters, that strategy is key to appealing to the widest range of customers possible by catering to the various ways that moviegoing habits have changed since the pandemic.

“We’re meeting the consumer where they are and with a lot of flexibility, giving them different ways to engage with our content,” Langley said, adding that Universal’s post-theatrical model that sees its films cycle to other streaming services after spending time on Peacock is part of that philosophy.


Source : TheWrap

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