Universal to release movies online while they are in theaters, starting with ‘Trolls World Tour’

With the spreading coronavirus pandemic forcing movie theaters to close, Comcast is breaking with tradition and making a number of new movies available to watch at home.

Universal’s “Trolls World Tour” will be the first movie it will simultaneously debut online and in theaters on April 10. Other films that are currently in theaters, like “The Invisible Man,” “The Hunt” and “Emma” will be available for a 48-hour rental as soon as Friday with the suggested price of $19.99.

Typically, movie studios wait 90 days for a film to run in theaters before putting it out to home viewing, but the company will be releasing new films online while they are still in cinemas.

Notably, Universal has decided to implement this new policy for its low-to-mid-tier budgeted films. The budget for “Trolls World Tour” is half that figure, “Invisible Man” was around $7 million and “The Hunt” was around $14 million.

Meanwhile, the release of the upcoming “F9” was pushed from May 2020 to April 2021. The budget for “F9″ is likely on par of that of its predecessor “The Fate of the Furious,” which cost $250 million to make, excluding marketing.

“NBCUniversal will continue to evaluate the environment as conditions evolve and will determine the best distribution strategy in each market when the current unique situation changes,” Jeff Shell, CEO of NBCUniversal, said in a statement Monday.

“Trolls World Tour” is the sequel to Dreamworks and Universal’s animated hit from 2016 “Trolls.” With schools around the country closing and more people seeking to self-quarantine or being ordered to stay at home, “Trolls World Tour” wasn’t likely to draw big crowds. Many theaters that remain open in the U.S. have capped the number of people who can attend.

Making this kid’s film available online allows parents to keep their kids safe from the transmission of COVID-19, but also entertained.

Source: Universal to release movies online while they are in theaters, starting with ‘Trolls World Tour’

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