It seems like NBCUniversal has decided on a new way to combat the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. As much of Hollywood has been ground to halt due to the spreading virus, the box office has hit a 20-year low because of delays and quarantines. That is why Universal Pictures has decided to make its most recent film releases available at home from on-demand, making it a first for Hollywood and its big-time studios.
As recently reported by The Hollywood Reporter, Universal will begin making its most recent movies and immediately upcoming titles available on-demand. They will go live from home on the same day they would hit theaters which have stayed open during the pandemic.
"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," NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said in a new statement.
“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,” he continued. “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.”
Currently, these movies are expected to hit on-demand services for a 48-hour rental period after purchase. The suggested retail price lands at $19.99 USD with films like Trolls World Tour, The Hunt, The Invisible Man, and more being included in the corral. However, the report does say insiders don't believe this model will continue once the pandemic lessens as Universal hasn't made decisions about its future titles' releases.
Are you surprised by this unprecedented turn? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!