Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures Making New Movies Available On-Demand Due To Coronavirus

It's safe to say that nothing has been immune from the coronavirus.

Not the general public, not celebrities, and not even the entertainment industry.

Universal Pictures has even just made history with its decision to make new movies available at home.

The list of things impacted by the coronavirus continues to grow.

As of March 17, the death toll from coronavirus COVID-19 has risen to 7,925.

To help combat these growing numbers, serious measures around the globe have been put into place.

Whole countries, such as Italy, have been placed on a lockdown (they've been hit the second-hardest by the virus).

In other countries, the reaction has been less severe, with government officials urging the public to self-isolate and practice social distancing.

Hollywood has also been dealt a difficult hand by coronavirus.

In addition to celebrities testing positive for coronavirus, movie release dates are being pushed and box office ticket sales have hit a 20-year low...

These ticket sales comes from many factors, including theatres closing its doors and public gatherings over a certain number of people being banned, per new CDC guidelines.

Cinemas have been closing in most countries overseas.

This will soon hit home in Canada and the United States, with cinemas being ordered to close.

So far, there's only been three movies that have pulled through the global health crisis:

Onward, which pulled in $10.5 million during its second weekend, I Still Believe, which pulled in $9.5 million, and Bloodshot, which came close to second with $9.3 million.

To combat these low ticket sale effects, Universal Pictures has made history with their recent move.

The company has decided to make its most recent film releases available at home from on-demand, per The Hollywood Reporter.

This means that titles will be available at-home on the same day that they would have hit theatres.

"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," said NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said in a statement.

"NBCUniversal will continue to evaluate the environment as conditions evolve and will determine the best distribution strategy in each market when the current unique situation changes."

He continued:

“Universal Pictures has a broad and diverse range of movies with 2020 being no exception. Rather than delaying these films or releasing them into a challenged distribution landscape, we wanted to provide an option for people to view these titles in the home that is both accessible and affordable."

He concluded his statement with this:

“We hope and believe that people will still go to the movies in theaters where available, but we understand that for people in different areas of the world that is increasingly becoming less possible.”

As far as details go, these movies will be available for a 48-hour rental period after purchase.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the suggested retail price will be at $19.99 USD for movies such a Trolls World Tour, The Hunt, and The Invisible Man.

As for how long these on-demand titles will be available at-home, it's too soon to say.

Insiders have yet to say whether this new policy will last for the entire 2020 calendar year.

In addition to theatres closing its doors, the coronavirus epidemic has impacted movies not yet released and those still currently in production.

No Time to Die, the next James Bond film, was the first major Hollywood film to delay the opening due to the coronavirus.

Others soon followed suit.

The Fast & Furious movie, F9 was slated to be released in late May, but it's been pushed back to April 2021.

The highly-anticipated sequel to "The Quiet Place" said last week that it was delaying its release.

So far, no new release date has been announced.

Disney has also faced its fair share of delays.

It's delayed Mulan and just this morning, Disney postponed the May 1 release of Black Widow, starring Scarlett Johansson.

What do you think about the movie industry being impacted by COVID-19?

Let us know in the comments!