AMC Theatres CEO says 'Renaissance' leak nearly tanked Beyoncé deal

The rollout for Beyoncé’s “Renaissance” movie was not so flawless, according the head of AMC Theatres, which distributed the concert film.

Adam Aron, chief executive of the nation’s largest theater chain, told Variety in an interview published last week that the company’s distribution deal with the musician nearly fell through after news of the project leaked.

“Beyoncé was seriously thinking about not doing the movie at all because the secret was blown,” Aron said.

The revelation came several months after “Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé” opened in wide release on the heels of Taylor Swift and AMC’s wildly successful “Eras Tour” concert film.

According to Aron, AMC went to great lengths to keep the “Eras Tour” movie under wraps — a clandestine move that gave the company a ticket sales advantage and reportedly irked other theater chains.

In an effort to smooth things over with industry peers, AMC decided to handle the “Renaissance” launch a little differently — giving fellow exhibitors a quiet, early heads-up about the picture to level the playing field.

“At least half a dozen movie circuits leaked the news,” Aron told Variety. “So, they didn’t keep their word.”

Representatives for AMC and Beyoncé did not immediately respond to The Times’ requests for comment.

“Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé” — which features dazzling footage from the singer’s blockbuster world tour — hit theaters Dec. 1 and grossed $44 million at the global box office. It was only the second title released by AMC, which previously operated exclusively as an exhibitor.

Following the success of “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” — which pulled in $261.7 million worldwide — AMC plans to distribute “two to three” concert films per year, Aron told Variety. Theater owners are increasingly turning to alternative programming, such as live music and sports, in hopes of increasing attendance in the wake of the COVID-19 shutdown.

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