The coronavirus forces to change the rules of the cinema. Universal Pictures announced this Monday that it will offer in streaming the premieres with which he planned to compete in theaters in the coming weeks, in the tightly-fought Easter holiday market. This is an unusual break with the criteria of the major Hollywood producers, who have been fighting for two years against Netflix’s attempts to show films both in theaters and on demand online, instead of reserving an exclusive window for theaters. . The exceptional situation that the United States lives in the face of the uncontrolled expansion of the coronavirus has ended in a weekend with the discussion.
Three Universal movies that were already in theaters are now available online to rent for $ 20 for 48 hours. Is about The hunt, The invisible man and Emma. Movie tickets in large cities in the United States range from $ 10 to $ 18, depending on theaters and sessions. Movies can be viewed on services like iTunes and Amazon Prime Video. Trolls 2: World Tour, which was scheduled to premiere on April 10 during the holidays, continues with the date in the cinemas that are open, but it will be offered simultaneously in streaming to 20 dollars.
“Rather than delay these releases or release them in a struggling distribution landscape, we want to give people an option to view these titles at home in an affordable and affordable way,” said Universal CEO Jeff Shell in a statement. quoted by Variety. “We hope and believe that people will continue to go to cinemas where they are available, but we understand that the inhabitants of various parts of the world have less and less that possibility.”
Universal’s biggest premiere this spring, Fast 9, was delayed directly to spring 2021. The study has not said what it intends to do with some essential summer bets for its box office numbers, such as the new one in the saga Crane, scheduled for July 3. On Monday, President Donald Trump admitted for the first time that the coronavirus crisis could last until August.
On Monday, none of the other major Hollywood studios had made a decision on the release of their films, although the industry sees the move by Universal as a key experiment that, although forced by circumstances, may change the screening rules if the numbers come out. Universal and NBC’s parent, Comcast, has just launched its own streaming service, Peacock, with which it tries to carve out a niche between giants like Netflix, Disney + and Amazon Prime Video.
Movie theaters have a 90-day exclusivity period before a movie can be shown on video. The large exhibition chains in the US refuse to renegotiate these terms due to the risk that their business will disappear. The pioneer in this regard is Netflix, which only respects cinemas just enough to be eligible for awards, but is trying to move the industry towards it. streaming and affirms that the two exhibition areas can coexist.
The situation for cinemas is of total paralysis from this weekend. The cities of New York and Los Angeles ordered the closure of all non-essential businesses and the health authority in Washington has recommended banning gatherings of more than 50 people. Faced with this situation, the second largest chain of cinemas in the country, Regal Cinemas, announced that as of Tuesday it closes all its theaters, 7,155 screens in 42 states. The largest exhibition chain, AMC, announced that it will limit entries to 50 people per room.
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Universal Pictures will offer its premieres in streaming before the measures against the coronavirus | Culture