With the systematic closing of businesses across the country, it is rather obvious that the movie industry would become impacted. Last weekend was the first where the effects were felt, with the total box office tally for the weekend plunging -45%, hitting a low mark not seen in theaters for over two decades. It is readily apparent that there will be significant decisions facing studios and exhibitors in the coming months.
Already some stark decisions have been made. A number of big-budget releases have already been removed from the release schedule due to the diminished box office returns of theaters closings and audience flight. The next issue in response will be on what dates to place these films on the already crowded calendar. With this reality facing them, and ticket buyers primarily sequestered at home, one studio is working on a more direct option to find its audience, and it is one that could possibly affect release practices in the future.
Universal Pictures has made a bold decision to make its new release titles available on the home market, a drastic cut from the normal release windows major release titles receive. The upcoming animated sequel ‘Trolls World Tour’’ will be in theaters on April 10, but the studio has elected to make the film available for Video On Demand on the same day and Date. The title will be made available for $19.99, with a 48-hour window of availability.