Last Monday, NBC Universal announced that their current films from the Universal Pictures roster including the upcoming family movie Trolls World Tour will be available on-demand due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.
This newly implemented policy breaks the traditional theatrical status quo as Hollywood deals with this unprecedented predicament that has impacted the majority of television and film. Theaters have been shut down in more than 32 markets globally and are partially closed in 15 other territories and it is projected that other countries will follow this new trend.
In the United States, it is projected that all cinemas will be closed. Cinemas in Los Angeles and New York have already been ordered to close and other states would soon probably follow. Circuits, on the other hand, have stayed open and have limited their viewing capacity to 50 people per auditorium via the new CDC guidelines.
NBCUniversal said Monday its current movies from the Universal Pictures stable — including the upcoming event family movie #TrollsWorldTour — will be made available on-demand at the same time they hit those theaters that remain open https://t.co/8KoP6tAKv8
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) March 16, 2020
Films will still be available on a myriad of on-demand options and services for a 2-day rental period at a suggested price of $19.99 in the United States and the price equivalent in markets outside of America.
The announcement was made by Jeff Shell, NBC Universal CEO. People in the know say that this move is not a blanket policy for the remainder of NBC Universal’s 2020 schedule and that decisions for other films have yet to be decided. NBC Universal is providing other options for its consumers besides going to the cinema and risking their health amidst this viral crisis.
Aside from Dreamworks’ Trolls World Tour that is set to premiere next month in North America, NBC Universal will also make films that are currently in cinemas available on-demand starting this Friday. These titles include films like The Invisible Man starring Elisabeth Moss and Oliver Jackson-Cohen, and The Hunt starring Betty Gilpin.
The company’s press release states that due to the ever-so-changing changes in the world today and difficult times facing their consumers, NBC Universal felt that it was the ideal time to provide on-demand option not only in theaters but also at home. The company will continue to assess the situation and will determine the best distribution strategy for every market as the situation evolves.
Trolls World Tour’s on-demand release will benefit from the slur of marketing campaigns already being initiated by the company that also includes Sky and Comcast.
Last weekend, the North American box office revenue slid down to a two decade-low while the global box office is currently tumbling down in most parts of the globe. Cinemas in China have been shut down for weeks while Europe has slowly closing down its theaters to prevent the further spread of the COVID-19 virus.