Monday, March 16, 2020

News: Universal Theatrical Movies to be Available to Stream on March 20

As everyone adjusts to the new Quarantine world, Universal Pictures has made the stunning move of offering some of their theatrical movies available to stream as soon as this Friday, March 20, including The Invisible Man, The Hunt, and Focus Feature's Emma.  Today, NBCUniversal announced that movies under the Universal Pictures banner will be available on-demand on the date of the theatrical release, including the upcoming Trolls: World Tour on April 10.

This should not change the delays of some prominent films such as No Time to Die, A Quiet Place 2, Mulan, and Universal's own Fast 9, but it should provide another avenue for those looking to avoid theaters but still wanting to see the newest movies.  This should also provide a boost for the box office, which saw its worst weekend since 1995 as consumers stayed home rather than head to the theaters.

Although details are still being worked out, it looks like these new theatrical movies will be $20 for a 48-hour rental period, which is about in line with how film rentals work on streaming services.  The first movies to be available will be The Invisible Man, the Hunt, and Emma on March 20.

"Given the rapidly evolving and unprecedented changes to consumers’ daily lives during this difficult time, the company felt that now was the right time to provide this option in the home as well as in theaters. 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," read the company's release.

“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 NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell in the same 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.”

Expect more details as this evolves!

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