Going to the movie theater is a major passtime for many people. Going to the movies isn't always the best though, which is why movie theater profits have been dwindling for decades. Have you ever paid fifteen bucks for a ticket only to have some joker talk during the entire movie?
Between high prices and disruptive theater-going experiences, going to the movies isn't the most ideal thing to do for everyone. Is it worth paying for a babysitter, parking, and tickets just to see a movie? For many people, the answer is actually yes. Despite the negatives, they still go out to see movies.
Being caught up on the latest movies is a big deal for a lot of people. Whether you see every movie that comes out, or just your favorites, it can stink to miss out. That is why amidst the Corona virus fears, Universal Pictures is releasing their new movies online as theaters close.
As AMC Theaters and other movie theater chains close their doors to the public amidst the Corona virus lockdown, many are wondering how they are going to see their favorite films? This isn't just an issue for film lovers. It's an issue for the filmmakers who have made their movies to be seen by the public. Not only are there movies set to come out that have been pushed back, but many movies were right in the middle of their theatrical run, losing out on profits and audiences.
Luckily NBC Universal has a plan. The plan might not help out theaters, but it does help them and audiences. They are going to make their movies available to stream online on the same day as they are released in theaters. This will hopefully help the lost profits from the Corona virus pandemic.
The first film to be released by Universal in this way is Trolls World Tour, the second Trolls movie which was supposed to release in theaters on April 10th. It will still be available in theaters (for the theaters that remain open), but it will also be available to rent digitally. Along with Trolls World Tour, the movies The Hunt, The Invisible Man, and Emma will also be released digitally for rental on services like Amazon and iTunes. The rentals will cost $19.99 for a 48-hour period, which is comparable to a movie ticket price.
Other studios are adopting a similar pivot in business strategy. Warner Brothers will released Birds of Prey two weeks early on digital for $19.99 as well. That is two weeks earlier than originally expected. Frozen 2 will be available for streaming three months earlier than expected. It will be coming to Disney Plus.
This is a total shift and pivot from how the movie business usually works. Usually a movie will have a six month theatrical run (give or take), before being released digitally or on physical media. It looks as if it is their only option considering that many people aren't going to theaters, or theaters begin to close.
CEO of NBC Universal Jeff Shell said, “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. 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." Like it or not, this could be a major shift in the movie business.