New Trolls Movie Is Making More Money Than The First--Without Releasing In Theaters

Trolls: World Tour may not have released in theaters, but the movie is doing phenomenal as a digital release.

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As the COVID-19 pandemic changed the landscape of entertainment, many movie releases were being delayed, while some went straight to on-demand. One of the movies that became a digital release--in leiu of delaying the theatrical release--was Trolls: World Tour, a sequel to the 2016 children's film. Luckily for Universal Pictures, this decision paid off.

Three weeks after the release of the film on digital markets like Apple, Trolls: World Tour has achieved 5 million rentals, making $100 million in just three weeks, according to the Wall Street Journal. During this initial three weeks, Trolls: World Tour has made more money for Universal than the original Trolls did during its five-month run in theaters.

Because of this success, it may change how movie studios operate in the future. "The results for Trolls World Tour have exceeded our expectations and demonstrated the viability of PVOD," NBCUniveral CEO Jeff Shell said. "As soon as theaters reopen, we expect to release movies on both formats."

There is more profit in digital releases over releasing movies in theaters--outside of the pandemic landscape. Studios take roughly 80% of the rental or purchase fee in the digital market. For theater box office, they take roughly 50% according to the WSJ report. Financially, especially right now, it makes more sense to dive into the digital market.

Because of this, Universal has taken $77 million from Trolls: World Tour's revenue during its digital release, so far. During 2016's Trolls' theatrical run, the film made $153.7 million domestically, and Universal received almost $77 million in revenue from theaters. And the money won't stop coming for Trolls: World Tour as it's only three weeks into its digital release.

Trolls: World Tour is available now on Apple, Vudu, and other digital markets.

And speaking of things you should be watching, consider listening to GameSpot's weekly TV series and movies-focused podcast, You Should Be Watching. With new episodes premiering every Wednesday, you can watch a video version of the podcast over on GameSpot Universe or listen to audio versions on Spotify, Stitcher, Google Play, and Apple Podcasts.

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