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Courtesy of Regal Cinemas

In an announcement that shocked the movie-going community, Regal Cinemas announced a partnership with beverage company PepsiCo on Wednesday.

Regal, one of the top theater chains in North America, had an exclusivity deal with the Coca-Cola Company going all the way back to 2002. Anyone who has seen a movie at a Regal theater in the past 20 years would surely know this; constant advertisements about Coke filled the screen while audiences waited for their movies to start.

This, however, will be no more. Starting this spring, Regal will slowly begin to replace all of their Coca-Cola products with Pepsi products. Goodbye Coke, Mellow Yellow and Dasani — Hello Pepsi, Mountain Dew and Life Water.

The partnership is something that the two companies describe as “an epic love story destined for the big screen.” While this announcement may be surprising to many, the signs of a potential new deal between Pepsi and Regal may have been there all along. Regal theaters have been serving Frito-Lay products, a company owned by PepsiCo, for a while now, so the switch to a full Pepsi concession bar makes sense.

While moviegoers may be skeptical of the new partnership, the powers that be at Regal and Pepsi are confident that the decision was a good one.

“Pepsi is a brand that understands the powerful connectivity of entertainment and shares our passion for creating moments of pure enjoyment for our fans,” John Curry, Senior Vice President of Food Service at Regal, said in reference to the partnership. “The stars aligned to connect us with the diverse PepsiCo cast of products – smash hits for movie fans and another reason why Regal is the best place to watch a movie.”

While Coke might be the first drink that many think of when soft drinks are brought up, PepsiCo is making every effort to change that. The company has been involved in the entertainment industry for years, featuring their products in big budget commercials, movies and even sponsoring the yearly Super Bowl halftime show.

“We can’t think of a better way to ring in the new decade than to team up with Regal to create magic at the movies,” Scott Finlow, Chief Marketing Officer at PepsiCo Global Foodservice, said. “Pepsi has a storied history in cinema, appearing in some of the most iconic moments on the big screen. We’re looking forward to sharing the perfect popcorn-pairing drink, as well as our partnerships across movies, sports, music and gaming, to celebrate a new age of cinema.”

Pepsi and Regal also announced that the partnership will lead to new exclusive limited time offers and entertainment sneak peaks. With the partnership set to begin in “early 2020,” those looking to enjoy a Coke with their movie are going to have to get used to hearing, 'Is Pepsi okay?' sooner rather than later.

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