By Christine Persaud
Given that much of the world is either in self quarantine or practicing social distancing in the wake of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, NBC Universal is taking steps to allow people to still watch the latest films without having to leave their home.
Universal Pictures will make its movies available in the home on the same day as their global theatrical releases, beginning with DreamWorks Animation’s Trolls World Tour, which is scheduled to open on April 10 in the U.S. Starting Friday, March 20, you will also be able to watch Universal and Focus Features films that are currently in theatres as on-demand flicks, including The Hunt, The Invisible Man, and Emma. Customers can rent the films for 48 hours for US$20 ea. or the price equivalent in each respective market.
“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 theatres,” wrote the company in a prepared announcement. “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.”
“Universal Pictures has a broad and diverse range of movies with 2020 being no exception,” adds Jeff Shell, CEO, NBCUniversal. “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. We hope and believe that people will still go to the movies in theatres where available, but we understand that for people in different areas of the world that is increasingly becoming less possible.”
The full marketing campaign will continue for the Trolls World Tour release, including Comcast, NBCUniversal, and Sky’s cross-company Symphony support. The day-and-date release will be concurrent with Trolls World Tour’s local theatrical release date in each international market where available.