FORNEY, Texas — Universal Pictures will make its current in-theatre and new releases available in-home and on-demand due to the temporary closure or limited seating offered at theaters nationwide amid COVID-19 concerns, NBCUniversal announced earlier this week in a press release.
"Titles from Universal and its specialty label Focus Features, including The Hunt, The Invisible Man and Emma, will be available on a wide variety of the most popular on-demand services for a 48-hour rental period at a suggested retail price of $19.99 in the U.S. and the price equivalent in international markets," read the release.
Those currently in theaters are expected to be available as early as Friday, March 20, 2020, according to the company.
DreamWorks Animation's Trolls World Tour will be the first new day-and-date release available on-demand at the same time of its global theatrical release — opening April 10 in the United States.
"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," continued the release. "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."
“Universal Pictures has a broad and diverse range of movies with 2020 being no exception," stated NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell. "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,” he said.