"Trolls World Tour" movie smashes digital release records, might transform movie release practices

by Laura Mize · Apr 28th, 2020 10:16 am

Last Updated Apr 28th, 2020 at 11:20 am

The Universal Pictures movie "Trolls World Tour" has earned $95 million in three weeks in a digital-only release, breaking digital records and prompting the media company to consider similar methods of movie releases moving forward.

"Trolls World Tour" was originally slated to hit theaters April 10, but instead went straight to video-on-demand at a rental price of $19.99 for 48 hours. Now, with the massive success of the "Trolls" sequel, NBCUniversal, which owns Universal Pictures, plans to retool its movie release strategy.

"The results for ‘Trolls World Tour' have exceeded our expectations and demonstrated the viability of PVOD [premium video on demand]," Jeff Shell, head of NBCUniversal said. "As soon as theaters reopen, we expect to release movies on both formats."

Digital movie releases mean studios keep roughly 80% of profits, compared to theater releases where half the profits go to theaters.

In just three weeks, Universal has pulled in more than $77 million from "Trolls World Tour," generating more than the company made from the original "Trolls" movie during a five-month run in theaters. Theater sales for "Trolls" totaled about $153.7 million.

The title also set records on streaming platforms owned by Amazon, Apple, and Comcast.

Universal said it will use the same release strategy on "The King of Staten Island," which had originally been slated for release on June 19.


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