On Monday, Universal Pictures was the first studio to take a big step in the movie-watching experience paradigm. In the wake of declining movie theater attendance due to the coronavirus, Universal has opted to make some of its new theatrical releases available on-demand starting Friday, March 20th. The movies available this Friday include The Invisible Man, The Hunt, and Emma. They will also be releasing Trolls World Tour on April 10th, which was the day it was scheduled for theatrical release – a move unprecedented in the industry. You’ll be able to access these on the platforms of NBCUniversal’s sister companies – Comcast and Sky – as well as a broad range of on-demand partners.
According to reports, the films can be purchased for $19.99 and will have a 48-hour rental period. While this is seen by many as a temporary response to the coronavirus and people generally staying in-home (some theater chains have already closed to avoid crowds from attending) this very well could be a new way of doing things instead of the traditional movie theater experience.
“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,” said Shell. “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.”
You can read the full press release here.
So, how do you feel about this? Do you think this is a way the movie industry will and should go or do you want to keep the traditional movie-going experience intact (once the National emergency is over)? Shout out below!