The movie theaters are feeling the wrath of the Coronavirus. Less and less people were already going to theaters thanks to the pandemic scare, now with theaters closed for the immediate future, studios are left with films that no one can see. Universal is doing something about that however.
“The Invisible Man” remake was able to make a profit when it arrived in theaters but the delayed controversial film, “The Hunt” debuted to a disastrous box office. People spent their time at grocery stores to buy essentials instead of making the trek to the theaters to see the latest films.
Universal Pictures will make its movies available on home entertainment on the same day as the films’ global theatrical releases.
The initiative will kick off with DreamWorks Animation’s “Trolls World Tour,” which is scheduled to debut on April 10 in the U.S. The company will also make films that are currently in theaters available on-demand starting as early as Friday, March 20. These films include the horror movies “The Hunt” and “The Invisible Man,” as well as “Emma,” an adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel from Focus, Universal’s specialty label.
The films will be available for a 48-hour rental period at a suggested retail price of $19.99 in the U.S. and for roughly the same price in international markets. The announcement is a blow to movie theaters, which have long resisted any attempts to shorten the amount of time that movies are available exclusively on the big screen.
“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.