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Universal Offering In-Home Rental For New Movies During Coronavirus Scare

Universal Offering In-Home Rental For New Movies During Coronavirus Scare
March 17, 2020 - 13:45 / Anna Valenzuela Rosas

NBCUniversal announced they will be making current theatrical releases available to the public for rental at home due to the Coronavirus affecting box office numbers. Films such as The HuntThe Invisible Man, and Trolls World Tour will be released online at the same time they are released in theaters if the theaters are still open.

The coronavirus has had incredible impact on the world and now may be altering the future of the film industry.

Universal To Make Films Available At Home

In an un-precedented move, America's oldest film studio, Universal, officially announced they will break the Hollywood release window and will be making their current films watchable online upon release. Typically, studios agree to a 90-day window of exclusively releasing to theaters but major studios like Disney and Universal are having their hands forced. 

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"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."

Universal Studios Theme Park is closed as the coronavirus continues to spread across the United States on March 14, 2020.

Hollywood Adapting to Coronavirus

Because of theater closures around the world and Coronavirus quarantining, the US Box Office reached a 20-year low. This bold but necessary move may have deeper implications for Hollywood and the film industry. Many believe streaming platforms will inevitably overshadow theater going and this break in the 90-day exclusive release window may be the first big step.

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Universal will be making their anticipated films The HuntThe Invisible Man, and Trolls World Tour accessible via streaming for a rental fee of $19.99. They have even postponed their Fast & Furious sequel release by 1 year as to not risk losing the potential box office sales of the hit series.

Hilary Swank and Betty Gilpin attend the premiere of Universal Pictures' "The Hunt" on March 09, 2020 in Hollywood, California.