Most major studio film releases have been pushed back several months due to the coronavirus, but Universal made a risky choice to digitally release ‘Trolls World Tour’
They released the film on premium video on demand and in a select number of drive-in theaters across the country. The film was expected to have a wide release inside theaters, but Universal decided to take a chance.
And they claim it has been a success. In fact, they claim it’s the biggest debut for a digital release in history.
Universal declined to provide any statistics to contextualize or support the superlative, but noted that ‘Trolls World Tour’ is the No. 1 title across major on-demand video platforms, such as Amazon, Comcast, Apple and FandangoNow. Universal also said the movie had the biggest opening day and weekend for a digital title, generating approximately 10 times more than the next-largest traditional premium home video release.
I mean, I guess we have to believe them? It would be nice to see the numbers though. I suppose it’s not exactly surprising. People are stuck at home and in desperate need of something new to watch, plus, this is a sequel to the 2016 ‘Trolls’ movie, which made nearly $350 million at the box office. It’s a pretty big franchise with a huge fanbase.
For what it’s worth, the movie has been receiving mixed-to-positive reviews from critics.
It’ll be interesting to see if Universal releases the numbers at some point. It would be incredibly fascinating to see how the on demand numbers compare to typical box office numbers. It’s something studios will be forced to consider in the coming months. Heck, the coming years probably. Times are changing.