A little more than three years ago, our colleagues at Engadget talked about distribution windows in the cinema, the fact that between four months and two years pass between four months and two years from the time a movie is released in the cinema until we can see it at home. This collided greatly with the model change promoted by Netflix, so it was expected that at some point things would begin to change.
And that moment, at the hands of Universal, is now, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic crisis. The production company has announced that some of its films, which were already in theaters, will also be released on digital platforms. The cost of being able to enjoy them at home instead of in the movie theater will not be low, Sure.
$ 19.99 to watch a home premiere movie
Whenever there has been talk of production companies launching premieres on digital platforms, something has been started: the cost would be much higher than renting a movie over time. In this case, the price that Universal will put for the 48-hour rental on iTunes and Google Play will be $ 19.99. For Europe, releases and prices have not been announced at the moment, although according to Variety they will be similar. Of course, it is totally ruled out that soon these simultaneous premieres with the cinema will be produced on platforms such as Netflix or HBO.
From next Friday, Universal will allow the United States to rent ‘The Invisible Man’, ‘The Hunt’ and ‘Emma’. Beyond these films, already released, the first to arrive simultaneously will be ‘Trolls 2: World Tour “, which opened in theaters on March 19.
The measure seems aimed at alleviate the losses that the closure of cinemas due to the coronavirus will produce around the world. Jeff Shell, CEO of Universal, says the following in a statement collected by Variety: “Before delaying these releases or releasing them in a difficult distribution landscape, we want to give people an option to view these titles at home in an accessible way. good price”
It is a pity that it was this event and not another that caused a large production company to take the step of eliminating the distribution window. It will be necessary to see if the decision is maintained in the long term and if other large studies join.