Skip to main content

Coronavirus prompts Universal to make new movies available for early at-home streaming, including Trolls World Tour and The Hunt

Coronavirus prompts Universal to make new movies available for early at-home streaming, including Trolls World Tour and The Hunt
(Image credit: Universal)

Is self-isolation making you miss your movie theater fix? Universal Pictures is trying to fix that by offering its new releases, The Hunt, The Invisible Man and Emma, for at-home streaming.  Come Friday, you'll be able to rent these new releases at $20 for a 48-hour rental period. That's more expensive than the best TV streaming services, but when you take into account the savings on popcorn and drinks, we think it's a fair enough price to pay.  

Set to launch on April 10, Trolls World Tour, a DreamWorks Animation, will also become the first film ever to have the same launch day in movie theaters and for at-home viewing. This is great news for those with restless kids looking for some relief from imposed social distancing, but with a 48-hour rental from sites such as iTunes and Amazon Prime Video, they won't be able to watch on endless repeat. We'll let you decide if that's a blessing or a curse. 

This is an unprecedented move that comes as coronavirus fears are shutting down movie theaters nationwide and internationally. In New York, all movie theaters, nightclubs and concert venues have been told to shut as of today, and this could be replicated across the U.S. in the coming days and weeks.

Coronavirus prompts Universal to make new movies available for early at-home streaming, including 'Trolls World Tour' and 'The Hunt'

Trolls World Tour will be released for at-home streaming on the same day as its movie theater launch (Image credit: Universal)

In a statement Jeff Shell, the CEO of NBCUniversal, 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 theaters where available, but we understand that for people in different areas of the world that is increasingly becoming less possible."

Now's the time to perfect your at-home movie setup 

New horror release The Invisible Man was looking a bit scary for us, so we're a little grateful that we can watch from the comfort of our own homes. You may opt to rent new releases, or just stick to Disney Plus and Netflix, but either way you could be settling in for a few weeks of binge-watching in the near-future. With coronavirus self-isolation in mind, you can now watch Frozen 2 on the Disney Plus app or stream it straight to your TV. Parents can thank Disney for this surprise release, which comes months before the family favorite was set to launch for at-home viewing.