In the time of coronavirus concerns and social distancing, going to the movies is either not an option in your area, or it is, at the very least, a terrible idea. However, finding things to entertain us during this global pandemic is vital to avoid going stir-crazy, and now, Universal Pictures will soon have you covered.
No need to leave your house to see the latest cinematic offerings. New movies like horror reboot The Invisible Man, satirical thriller The Hunt and Jane Austen adaptation Emma are coming to on-demand Friday to give people the chance to view them without heading to the movie theater, according to Deadline.
Right now, the suggested rental price for the films is $19.99 for a 48-hour rental period — significantly more than one might pay to rent them after their movie theater run has ceased, but not too far off from the price of a movie ticket in major cities.
“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," Jeff Shell, CEO of NBCUniversal, said in a statement. "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.”
Universal Pictures’ humans-hunting-humans movie The Hunt, produced by horror hitmaker Jason Blumhouse, has already had a complicated time with its theatrical release. The film was initially set to be released in September of 2019. However, it delayed opening following two mass shootings and criticism from President Donald Trump. It officially hit theaters on March 13, only to fall in the middle of coronavirus concerns keeping people from going to the movies in the first place.
The move made by Universal Pictures could potentially encourage other studios to follow suit. Cathy Yan, director of Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey, shared on Twitter that she would “not be opposed to putting Birds of Prey on VOD earlier” in response to the Universal Pictures news.
All of this is just one more reason not to even consider breaking self-isolation — something we all should be practicing at this time to stop coronavirus spread. Stay home and stay entertained. They’re not mutually exclusive.
COVID-19 has been declared a global pandemic. Go to the CDC website for the latest information on symptoms, prevention, and other resources.