As coronavirus shuts down so many parts of lives, industries and the companies within them are going to have to get creative to keep our attention and continue to make money. The movie industry is one of those going to get hit the hardest, as people are practicing social distancing and movie theaters are being pushed to close. It’s forcing movie production back and causing films to be delayed beyond their original release dates, leaving question marks around a lot of the theatrical future.
To try and keep things on schedule, Comcast and NBCUniversal announced a big move today that will see movies currently in theaters also arrive in your home via rental. For the first time on a large scale, we’ll be able to rent movies that are currently in and/or soon-to-be on the big screen.
On March 20 (this Friday), NBCUniversal, Universal Pictures, and Focus Features are going to make several movies available as rentals, including The Hunt, The Invisible Man, and Emma, while they are still in theaters. Then on April 10, when the new movie Trolls World Tour was supposed to open, it too will be available for rent immediately.
All of these movies 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.” So yes, you’ll be able to rent The Hunt this weekend for $20 and watch it in your home through the on-demand service of your choice.
We don’t know yet if other movie production houses will follow this lead.
What a wild time this is.