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You used to have to wait several months between when a movie would be released and when it would be available “on video.”

In the time of coronavirus, as some states order movie theaters closed and plenty more people are avoiding them, NBCUniversal’s Universal Pictures is making its films available digitally at the same time as theatrical releases.

Here’s what you need to know:


Universal Pictures’ current releases will be available as of March 20.

Largely empty theaters greet the studio’s current films — Emma, The Hunt and The Invisible Man. These movies will be made available for digital rental as of Friday, March 20. Universal will offer a 48-hour rental for $19.99.


The Trolls sequel will release simultaneously online and in theaters.

Trolls: World Tour was gearing up for an Easter weekend theatrical release, but rather than delay the film, Universal will release it digitally at the same time. The $19.99 48-hour rental will apply in this case, too, as of April 10.


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Rentals will be available through Amazon, Apple and OnDemand.

It’ll be those three rental services for sure, but additional sites are expected to also rent out the films.


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