Due to the closure of theaters nationwide in response to the recent spread of COVID-19, Universal will make some of its current film releases available for on-demand starting this Friday — perfect for people who are staying inside and social distancing.
Many cinema locations are likely to go dark this week after theaters have already been ordered to close in New York and Los Angeles. The new on-demand option will allow audiences to still enjoy new film releases from the comfort of their homes. Titles like The Invisible Man, The Hunt and Emma will be available to rent on services such as Comcast, Apple, Sky and Amazon. DreamWorks Animation's Trolls World Tour, set to open in theaters on April 10, will be available that same day. Though popcorn isn’t included, you’ll be able to rent for $19.99 per film with 48-hour access.
The company said in a statement: "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."
“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 NBCUniversal chief executive Jeff Shell in the same statement. “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.”
Whether you’re looking for a break from online classes or a cure for boredom at home, all movies will be available to you on Friday. Try streaming at the same time as friends and make your own virtual movie theater.