Universal will break theatrical window with Trolls World Tour available for same day streaming

Simultaneous theater and home release streaming is coming April 10, 2020 with Trolls World Tour, “thanks” to the coronavirus, at the rental cost of $19.99.

The streaming is about the only thing that is guaranteed.

Universal’s “Trolls World Tour” will be the first movie it will simultaneously debut online and in theaters on April 10. Other films that are currently in theaters, like “The Invisible Man,” “The Hunt” and “Emma” will be available for a 48-hour rental as soon as Friday with the suggested price of $19.99.

Universal to release movies online while they are in theaters, starting with ‘Trolls World Tour’

Again, that is if the theaters are open again by April 10.

We’re in Las Vegas right now and it’s a real dead zone here, except for drive-thru, take out only food, grocery stores and gas stations. The casinos are saying they will start taking reservations again on May 1.

Again: May 1.

So, it might be a bit optimistic to think the movie theaters will be open again three weeks from now. We weren’t able to catch I Still Believe or Emma in theaters as planned here in Vegas before the theaters all closed, so going to have to catch those on streaming.

It’s too early to speculate if this Trolls Word Tour simultaneous release will be a one-off blamed on the virus, or the start of releasing more movies simultaneously in the theater and VOD (Video On Demand), but it’s definitely getting some buzz.

Theater owner groups disagree.

“To avoid catastrophic losses to the studios, these titles must have the fullest possible theatrical release around the world,” a statement from the National Association of Theater Owners (NATO) reads. “While one or two releases may forgo theatrical release, it is our understanding from discussions with distributors that the vast majority of deferred releases will be rescheduled for theatrical release as life returns to normal.”

Trolls World Tour could be a case study for Hollywood’s digital future

I’ve weighed in on this topic numerous times here and am a fan of reducing or even eliminating the theatrical window. Naturally, I didn’t want this virus situation to be a catalyst, but it might just be the thing that gets something started.

If I have a choice to pay $19.99 to watch at home or watch in the theater — if they are open — the theater is where I’ll be seeing it on April 10. Where will you be seeing it?

9 thoughts on “Universal will break theatrical window with Trolls World Tour available for same day streaming

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