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Following what was reported to be the worst weekend of the last 20 years for the US domestic film business, NBCUniversal/Comcast has decided to (finally) make movies available for rental the day of their theatrical release. This new policy debuts with the upcoming DreamWorks Animation film Trolls World Tour on April 10th, but on-demand releases for flicks currently in theaters, including The Invisible Man and Emma, will begin as soon as March 20th — this upcoming Friday.
Details for this new "Day-and-Date" release system aren't entirely fixed, but these rentals will be available "on a wide variety of the most popular on-demand services" including Comcast and Sky with 48-hour rental periods and a suggested price of $20 per rental in the US (and the equivalent to that in other markets).
"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," NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said of the announcement. "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."
With coronavirus disrupting every aspect of our lives right now and forcing many of us to stay at home, at least we'll be able to watch some new flicks in some semblance of normalcy.
Been getting a little stir-crazy looking for new content to keep you entertained? You're in luck, with the first wave of these just-hit-theaters Hollywood titles already becoming available for digital rental.
Google's got a list going on the Play Store of these new "home premieres," which it looks like it will be updating as more and more releases arrive.
As promised, The Invisible Man, Emma, and The Hunt are available today, and while $20 for a two-day rental is a little steep, it's a heck of a lot cheaper than a night out — to say nothing of the fact that you shouldn't even be thinking about going out in the first place right now.
— Disney+ (@disneyplus) March 20, 2020
There are plenty more big-name films coming out on streaming in the days and weeks to come. Disney just shared its plans to release Onward tonight, and the new action flick Bloodshot will be close behind.
Much in the same way as Google is keeping track of these new theatrical releases ready for early home streaming, Amazon has also started making them available, under its Prime Video Cinema banner.
Just like on Google Play, The Invisible Man, Emma, The Hunt, and now Onward are each available for a $20 two-day Amazon Prime rental.