April 12, 2020
Universal Pictures/DreamWorks Animation’s groundbreaking PVOD release of Trolls World Tour topped digital charts, including No. 1 on iTunes, Amazon Video and Redbox On Demand, among others (through April 12), following its April 10 launch. Financial results have not been released.
The sequel to the 2016 original Trolls movie was released on PVOD for $19.99 on the same day it had been scheduled to debut in theaters prior to the coronavirus pandemic.
With movie theaters shuttered globally to reduce the spread of the virus, studios have either postponed launch dates for tentpole titles or expedited a movie’s retail distribution, including Universal’s The Invisible Man, Paramount Pictures’ Sonic the Hedgehog and Sony Pictures’ Bloodshot, among others.
Disney has said it would debut Artemis Fowl on its branded subscription streaming video platform — the first of several other undisclosed titles.
“The measures being taken right now are because of the unforeseen circumstances,” Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with Comscore, told Business Insider. “And consumers have an appetite for new content. We are literally stuck at home.”
Michael Pachter, media analyst with Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles, doubts PVOD has much of a long-term shelf life. He says studios cannot recoup production/marketing costs of big-budget movies for $20 to households.
“One off and unsustainable,” Pachter said in an email. “We have been trained to wait for $5.99 digital rental. [Studios] will scrap the idea once the pandemic is behind us.”