In response to the global pandemic of the Coronavirus and social distancing, all Regal theatres have shut down across the country, along with other theatres, including Angels Theatre in Angels Camp.
According to the Washington Post, Universal Pictures announced that it will bring new theatrical releases to cable and other video-on-demand platforms for rental. Universal Pictures released four titles for home viewing: “The Invisible Man,” “The Hunt,” “Emma” and “Trolls World Tour.” These movies are available at the price of $19.99 for a 48-hour rental on platforms that include Comcast, Universal Picture’s sister company.
“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,” NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said in a statement.
Other companies are also being offered these films for on demand, including Communication’s Spectrum, AT&T, Vudu, Fandango and Apple, but it is not yet known which companies will accept the offer, according to the Washington Post.
The National Association of Theatre Owners were not all in regarding Universal Picture’s move to bring new releases to On Demand.
“Although there has been speculation in the media that the temporary closure of theaters will lead to accelerated or exclusive releases of theatrical titles to home streaming, such speculation ignores the underlying financial logic of studio investment in theatrical titles,” the group said. “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.”
“People will return to movie theaters because that is who people are,” the group continued. “When they return they will rediscover a cutting edge, immersive entertainment experience that they have been forcefully reminded they cannot replicate at home.”