Universal to Make New and Upcoming Theatrical Releases Available Digitally

Trolls World Tour
Poppy (Anna Kendrick) doesn’t know quite what to make of Queen Barb (Rachel Bloom), who rules the land of Rock, in ‘Trolls World Tour’ (Photo Credit: DreamWorks Animation)

Universal Pictures has temporarily adjusted their theatrical release procedures to accommodate audiences during the Coronavirus pandemic. NBCUniversal announced Universal Pictures and DreamWorks Animation will make the upcoming family-friendly animated film Trolls World Tour available in homes concurrent with the film’s global theatrical release.

Trolls World Tour is scheduled to open in U.S. theaters, and now on digital, on April 10, 2020. Universal will charge $19.99 to rent the film for a 48-hour period.

In addition, current releases The Hunt, The Invisible Man, and Focus Features’ Emma could be available to rent at home as soon as Friday, March 20th.

“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 Jeff Shell, CEO, NBCUniversal. “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.”

The NBCUniversal announcement offered the following explanation for their decision: “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.”

Regal Cinemas just joined the long list of places shuttered (Broadway theatres, restaurants, bars, and major entertainment venues) because of the Coronavirus pandemic. Hundreds of theaters across America have already temporarily closed their doors, but Regal’s the first major chain to announce a blanket closure of all of their theaters. The decision was made following new CDC recommendations that restrict all group activities to a 10 person limit.