While social distancing and self-quarantining may be a bit of a bummer--for the greater good--NBCUniversal has some pretty good news. As soon as Friday, March 20, you'll be able to rent movies from the production company currently in theaters--or future releases on its release date--from the comfort of your own home.
On Monday, NBCUniversal made the announcement that movies under the Universal Pictures banner will be available on-demand of their theatrical release date, according to The Hollywood Reporter. This includes the April 10 release of Trolls: World Tour.
Movies like No Time To Die, A Quiet Place 2, and Universal's F9 are seeing long delays because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and major cities are limiting the amount of people that can gather in one place, so the worldwide box office will take an immense hit. While theaters themselves will still suffer through this, the move to on-demand will help the global box office while also providing people who are social distancing some entertainment while stuck at home.
While specific details have not been laid out, consumers can rent these movies for a 48-hour period for $20 in the US and the equivalent price in other countries. Universal films that are already in theaters like The Invisible Man and The Hunt will be available on Friday, March 20. This policy does not apply to the entire studio's catalog of movies coming out this year though. There are still decisions being made, including how long it will last.
"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," NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said in a statement.
"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 Shell. "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 first movies will be available this Friday, but it was not revealed where people can rent them. Stay tuned for more in the upcoming days.