Universal Studios will release a variety of its newest movies still in the midst of their theatrical runs on digital platforms. Starting this Friday, films like The Invisible Man, The Hunt, and Emma will be made on various platforms to rent for $20 USD. The studio’s forthcoming animated film Trolls World Tour, set for a theatrical release on April 10, will be made to rent on the same day it hits theaters.
Universal announced the news after a box office weekend drought, caused much in part due to the overwhelming concerns over the novel coronavirus. The weekend brought in just $55.3 million USD for the industry, making it the worst numbers for the weekend since 1995. The Invisible Man and Emma both saw respective viewership dropping 60 percent and 72 percent from the weekend previous. Major theater chains like AMC have decided to cap its locations’ attendance by 50 percent due to concerns, with Regal just announcing today that it will close its doors until further notice starting March 17.
The unprecedented move is an eerie one for Universal, breaking a long-standing Hollywood tradition that could have major implications for the film industry’s future. Many films have already delayed their theatrical runs, including some of the year’s biggest blockbusters like Disney’s live-action Mulan, James Bond’s No Time to Die, and Fast & Furious 9.
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