Animated sequel Trolls World Tour will be released on home entertainment and cinemas on the same day due to the impact the coronavirus crisis is having on theatrical releases.
After big blockbusters such as No Time to Die, Fast and Furious 9, A Quiet Place Part II, and Mulan postponed their releases, the animation, which features a voice cast led by Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake, was thought to be the next studio release, with it scheduled to hit cinemas on 10 April.
However, on Monday, Universal Pictures representatives announced that they would be making the movie available on home entertainment and in cinemas on the same day.
In addition, they are also going to make films still showing in cinemas, such as horrors The Hunt, The Invisible Man, and period drama Emma, available on-demand from Friday.
“That’s right folks – due to…um…things happening in the world, we are releasing @TheInvisibleMan for streaming this Friday,” tweeted Leigh Whannell, the director of The Invisible Man. “So those who wanted to catch it in theatres but couldn’t will be able to view it from the safety of their biohazard containment zones (couch or bed).”
The films will be available for a 48-hour rental period at a suggested price of $19.99 (£16) each in the U.S. and for similar prices internationally.
The decision is a huge blow to cinemas, which have been forced to close or reduce seating in some areas due to new social distancing rules implemented to help halt the spread of Covid-19. The news follows a difficult box office weekend, with the North American box office plummeting to a two-decade low.
As a result, Warner Bros. executives have decided to make Birds of Prey, starring Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, available for digital purchase early, on 24 March. Disney bosses also made Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker available for digital purchase almost a week early and put Frozen II on their streaming service, Disney+, three months earlier than expected.
© Cover Media