On the same day that Regal announced that all of their theaters will be closing tomorrow, Universal revealed that Trolls World Tour will be arriving on VOD the same day it’s set to open in cinemas. That means that the DreamWorks Animation sequel will be available to rent on April 10th, with customers having the movie available to them for 48 hours after purchase.
It is, of course, unknown at this point if Trolls World Tour will play on the big screen in the US at all now, as the rental announcement more or less works as a cancellation of that. This all depends on whether or not movie houses are even open at that time, but rather than delay the release date as other tentpoles have done lately, Universal opted for an untested option. It’s unknown if audiences will be content with paying the reported suggested price of $19.99 for a movie they aren’t even purchasing, as that’s more or less the average sale’s tag attached to a new Blu-ray. It’s also worth noting that Trolls World Tour carries a budget of more than $100 million, so it remains to be seen if it will break even this way.
As we said yesterday, we remain in completely uncharted territory here, as US movie theaters have never before dealt with a crisis on this level. For the time being, Universal has not announced that any feature films past Trolls World Tour will be getting the same treatment. As things stand, Disney still has Black Widow set to kick off the summer season on May 1st, but given how uncertain the news is right now, there’s a chance that could change on any given day.