A few days ago, France’s cinemas reacted with fury to Disney’s decision to move Soul to Disney+, arguing that they were open for business. Here’s a consolation: Universal is giving Dreamworks’ Trolls World Tour a wide theatrical release in the country tomorrow, bucking its own strategy for the film elsewhere.
In April, Universal strayed into the theaters’ firing line when it shifted Trolls World Tour to a theatrical-VOD day-and-date release, becoming the first studio to mess with the traditional theatrical window in the pandemic. It adopted this strategy in most markets, but not France, where the theatrical window is strongly protected in law. Instead, Universal Pictures International (UPI) France bided its time, waiting for the opportune moment to put the family flick in cinemas.
That moment has come. The film is opening on 650 prints in the country (where schools are currently on vacation) on the back of a multi-million-euro marketing campaign. This is despite a sharp rise in coronavirus cases, about which President Emmanuel Macron will speak to the nation tomorrow. Cinemas will relish the release — the only Hollywood tentpole to come out in France since March apart from Tenet.