The release of “Trolls World Tour” directly streaming turned out to be a great success for Universal. The title, which was to be released in theaters in the original plans, was distributed on the network through Video On Demand services (VOD) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this regard, we also invite you to consult the constantly updated article on film productions postponed or suspended.
Trolls World Tour can be hired for $ 19.99 in the United States or of 15.99 euros in Italy (viewing rights last 48 hours). You can basically use all the most popular services, from Rakuten TV to Chili via Sky PrimaFila Premiere.
TO 3 weeks after launch “Trolls World Tour” generated revenue totaling $ 95 million in North America alone, for a total of almost 5 million rentals. To better frame the extent of the phenomenon it is useful to provide other figures. The Trolls prequel, launched in 2016, had grossed $ 153.7 million at the North American box office and $ 193.2 million internationally. However, the above numbers are not limited to the first 3 weeks but are the result of 5 months of programming in theaters.
If you compare the figures for North America, then you have to take into account that of the nearly 154 million dollars Universal has collected about 77 million. The Hollywood major had to divide the total with the theater managers, consequently reducing its share. In the case of “Trolls World Tour” the situation is quite different. THE digital rentals through the network allow Universal to maintain a share of approximately 80% of revenues. The last piece to consider is the production cost of the film: about 90 million dollars.
It is therefore easy to understand why Universal considers this first experience of the “premium” VOD (to be understood as the rental of a first fruits that would generally have been exclusively visible in cinemas) a success beyond all expectations. It was stated openly Jeff Shell, CEO of NBCUniversal:
The results obtained by “Trolls World Tour” have exceeded our expectations and have shown that the premium VOD, to be understood as premium video on demand in homes, is a viable way. When cinemas reopen, we expect to release films in both formats.
It therefore seems that Universal is seriously intent on questioning the window of exclusivity of cinemas which, according to this view, would become one of the distribution systems during the launch phase and no longer the only one. Meanwhile, as regards the immediate, we will continue to focus on the premium VOD also for other titles, such as “The King of Staten Island”.
The reaction of the managers of the cinemas was not long in coming. AMC, the largest cinema chain in the world, stated that will no longer program Universal films in theaters belonging to its circuit. To pronounce on the point was Adam Aron, CEO and president of AMC:
This is a disappointment for us, but the statements of Jeff (the CEO of NBCUniversal – Editor's note) regarding the unilateral intentions and actions envisaged by Universal leave us no choice. Therefore, with immediate effect AMC will no longer program any Universal films in theaters in the United States, Europe and the Middle East.
AMC also specified that the same decision will apply to all film studios that will question it “status quo“The words of the CEO of NBCUniversal also displeased the BORN (National Association of Theater Owners, the organization that brings together the owners of cinemas), which expressed itself through the mouth of John Fithian, president and CEO of the association:
Universal has no reason to use unusual circumstances in an unprecedented situation as a springboard to get around a real distribution in cinemas. The rooms offer a loved and shared experience that cannot be replicated – an experience in which many of the users of VOD services would have participated if the whole world had not been segregated at home, desperate for something to look at in the family. We are confident that when the cinemas reopen, the film studios will continue to benefit from the international box office revenue, followed by the general one from traditional outputs in the home cinema market.