Following the corona viris pandemic and everyone being told to stay indoors and avoid all non essential contact Universal are looking to release titles to streaming and video on demand services a lot quicker. NBC Universal's CEO Jeff Shell made the announcement.
“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. 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.”
As reported by Deadline Blumhouse's The Hunt and The Invisible Man will be available from Friday 20th March for a 48-hour-rental price of $19.99. Whilst The Invisible Man had already hit $120M worldwide (read my review here), The Hunt released last week to cinemas that were already pretty quiet. Hoping to make up for the loss Universal has made the decision to release them via VOD and streaming services.
Leigh Whannell & Jason Blum spread the news via Twitter.
Universal/Dreamworks animation Trolls World Tour also looks set to be released via VOD services on April 20th. Additionally Warner Bros. Pictures is also pushing Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey onto VOD services, such as Amazon Prime and iTunes, as early as March 24th for $19.99.