Universal Pictures To Stream Movies On Same Day As Cinema Release Amid Coronavirus Restrictions
Universal Pictures has said it will make some movies available to stream at home on the same day they're released in cinemas.
It will also be uploading some recently released films, including The Invisible Man and The Hunt, to on-demand streaming services on Friday 20 March.
The first flick to get a simultaneous cinema and streaming release will be Trolls World Tour, which will land on 10 April.
The announcement comes in response to ongoing precautions and restrictions in place amid the coronavirus outbreak.
In a statement NBCUniversal said it was continuing to 'evaluate the environment as conditions evolve' and that it would reevaluate the strategy when the current situation changes.
The movies will be available to rent via a number of on-demand services, including Sky, Comcast, Apple and Amazon.
According to The Independent, the movies will be priced at $19.99 (£16.30) for a 48-hour rental.
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Usually, movies are shown in cinemas for around three months before they appear on other media platform. However, Netflix regularly cuts this short, as we seen with The Irishman and Marriage Story.
Several films have seen their release dates put back, as several governments have urged people to stay at home and avoid unnecessary contact.
In a statement, NBCUniversal Chief Executive Officer Jeff Shell said: "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.
"We hope and believe that people will still go to the movies in theatres where available, but we understand that for people in different areas of the world that is increasingly becoming less possible."
This comes after Universal announced it would be postponing the release of the ninth Fast and Furious film, F9, for a year until April 2021.
Star Vin Diesel made the announcement on social media, posting: "We feel all the love and the anticipation you have for the next chapter in our saga.
"That's why it's especially tough to let you know that we have to move the release date of the film. It's become clear that it won't be possible for all of our fans around the world to see the film this May.
"While we know there is disappointment in having to wait a little while longer, this move is made with the safety of everyone as our foremost consideration."
In the UK, Odeon, Cineworld and Picturehouse have all announced they will be closing their cinemas until further notice.
Featured Image Credit: Universal Pictures
Topics: TV and Film