Mar 16, 2020
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The coronavirus pandemic has cracked Hollywood's traditional theatrical window. Universal Pictures on Monday said it will make its current and upcoming films available for on-demand rental, becoming the first major studio to turn directly to home viewing in light of the virus.
The studio said it will put movies currently in theaters — “Invisible Man,” “The Hunt,” “Emma” — up for rental on-demand beginning as early as Friday. It also said that “Trolls World Tour," one of the only major releases left on the April film release calendar, will open “day-and-date,” debuting in theaters and on-demand services simultaneously. A 48-hour rental will cost $19.99.
The move came as theaters worldwide have closed and many North American cinemas are shuttering. On Sunday, the mayors of New York and Los Angeles order their cities' theaters shut. The governors of New York, Connecticut and New Jersey announced Monday that all movie theaters in the tri-state area wold be closed during this crisis following similar decisions in Massachusetts and Quebec. Overseas, most European cinemas have shut down, as have those in China, India and elsewhere.