NBCUniversal has announced that its movie studio Universal Pictures and speciality label Focus Features will be releasing their films in theatres and on-demand, simultaneously, according to reports.
However, insiders say that this isn't a blanket policy for the studio's entire 2020 calendar. Decisions regarding the duration of the policy and which films will be included have not yet been made, as per The Hollywood Reporter.
The step is in response to the COVID-19 pandemic which has already led to the closures of several movie theatres. Most, if not all will be completely shut off by the end of the week.
"Universal Pictures has a broad and diverse range of movies with 2020 being no exception," said NBCUniversal's Jeff Shell.
"Rather than delaying these films or releasing them into a challenged distribution landscape, we want to provide an option for people to view these titles in the home that is both accessible and affordable." he added.
'The Invisible Man' and 'The Hunt' to go on-demand
The first films to take part in the policy are "The Invisible Man" and "The Hunt." While they are already playing in theatres, these two will officially go to on-demand starting next week.
Then on April 10, one will be able to watch "Trolls World Tour" in the comfort of their homes during its initial release.
The studio will be releasing its films to a variety of on-demand marketplaces like iTunes and Amazon, at a suggested price of $19.99 for a 48-hour rental rather than a purchase.
NBCUniversal said it will continue to "evaluate the environment as conditions evolve and will determine the best distribution strategy in each market when the current unique situation changes."