Now that the general public have been advised to not gather in large numbers in spaces like movie theaters, film lovers are missing out on screenings — and studios are having to think fast about how to make money on their newest releases.
Deadline announced yesterday that Universal Pictures had made the decision to make a number of its theatrical releases available to view at home via video-on-demand services, while those movies (which undoubtedly had expensive marketing campaigns) are still vaguely in the public consciousness.
Movies that people will be able to purchase include two new horror offerings from the unstoppable Blumhouse production stable: Universal Classic Monsters remake The Invisible Man, starring Elisabeth Moss, and controversial satire The Hunt, starring Betty Gilpin, the release of which had already been postponed once after its subject matter was condemned as trying to “inflame and cause chaos” by none other than President Trump.
Other movies coming to VOD from Universal-owned production companies include Focus Features’ Jane Austen adaptation Emma, starring Anya Taylor-Joy, and DreamWorks Animation’s family movie Trolls World Tour.
“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,” reads an official statement from CEO Jeff Shell.
Today, Variety report that Birds of Prey, the latest installment in DC Films’ extended universe and the second movie starring Margot Robbie as anti-heroine Harley Quinn, will also be coming to VOD early off the back of its theatrical release: fans can purchase it as of March 24. Additionally, Warner Bros. will be sending Guy Ritchie’s gangster movie The Gentlemen to VOD ahead of schedule.
The price of digital purchase on each of these films is expected to be $19.99. Whether Trolls World Tour is worth a cent of that will probably depend on whether you have kids, and how desperate you are to find something new for them to watch while you’re all stuck inside.
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