Following the closure of restaurants and bars the nation over, movie theaters are also beginning to close up shop to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. One wonders, then, what studios plan on doing with the movies slated for release over the next few months. Universal has a plan: Beginning with the April 10 release of Trolls World Tour, CNN reports, the studio will make its films available for at-home streaming on the same day as the films’ global theatrical releases.
This news comes after a historically bad weekend at the box office. As the New York Times declared, “Hollywood may have just had its worst weekend since ticketing data started to be independently compiled in the 1980s.”
CNN also notes that the movies Universal currently has in theaters will also be made available for streaming this Friday, March 20. That includes the acclaimed The Invisible Man, the “controversial” The Hunt, and Emma, which was perfectly fine. They’ll be pricier than your typical stream, though, going for $19.99 for a 48-hour rental via Comcast, Sky, Apple, and Amazon.
“Universal Pictures has a broad and diverse range of movies with 2020 being no exception. Rather than delaying these films or releasing them into a challenged distribution landscape, we wanted to provide an option for people to view these titles in the home that is both accessible and affordable,” NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said in a statement. “We hope and believe that people will still go to the movies in theaters where available, but we understand that for people in different areas of the world that is increasingly becoming less possible.”
Universal’s upcoming Fast And Furious sequel, F9, recently saw its release pushed back a whole year, and the studio also halted filming on Jurassic World: Dominion and Bros, an upcoming romantic comedy starring Billy Eichner.