In an unprecedented move, Universal Pictures is shifting some of its upcoming theatrical releases to home distribution in countries where theaters have closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The new strategy will launch with Dreamworks Animation’s Trolls World Tour, scheduled to debut on April 10. The film will still debut theatrically in foreign markets where theaters remain open.
Trolls World Tour will mark the first-ever day-and-date theatrical and VOD availability for a major Hollywood release, an experiment that if successful could have long-term ramifications for theatrical exhibitors. Scott Mendelson at Forbes wrote a good analysis of what this development means for the movie business.