Comcast Making New Movies Available for In-Home Viewing

With the coronavirus keeping people from movie theaters, Comcast announced that its NBCUniversal unit will be making new films available in-house the same day as their theatrical release.

Films will be available as 48-hour rentals to subscribers to Comcast Cable and Sky, plus other on-demand partners, the company said.

The first film to be released at home on day-and-date basis is Trolls World Tour from Comcast’s DreamWorks Animation unit. Upcoming films The Hunt, The Invisible Man and Emma will also be available in home.

Related: Five TV Sectors Impacted by COVID-19

The 48-hour rental for the theatrical release films will be $19.99 in the U.S.

The move marks a major change in the movie business and potentially a new challenge to theater owners.

“Universal Pictures has a broad and diverse range of movies with 2020 being no exception. 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,” said NBCU CEO Jeff Shell. “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.”

The release of Trolls World Tour will be backed by an NBCU Symphony marketing effort, calling on multiple assets of the company. 

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.