It seems NBCUniversal’s decision to make some of their current theatrical releases available digitally is beginning to catch on. With both AMC and Regal shutting down theater operations temporarily and studios continuing to delay releases, it’s likely we’ll see more and more mid-low budget films made available digitally. Warner Bros. recently moved up the digital release of “Birds of Prey” for March 24 and now Sony is the next studio to join the party.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sony made the decision to make Vin Diesel’s latest comic book movie “Bloodshot” available for purchase on VOD March 24 less than a week after it’s theatrical release. The decision comes following a twenty-year box office low of which “Bloodshot” grossed $9.3 million. As opposed to Universal, who is releasing four of their titles for 48 hour rental periods priced at $19.99, Sony is allowing audiences to own their film for the same price. Sony Pictures chairman Tom Rothman made the following statement:
“Sony Pictures is firmly committed to theatrical exhibition and we support windowing. This is a unique and exceedingly rare circumstance where theaters have been required to close nationwide for the greater good and Bloodshot is abruptly unavailable in any medium. Audiences will now have the chance to own Bloodshot right away and see it at home, where we are all spending more time. We are confident that — like other businesses hit hard by the virus — movie theaters will bounce back strongly, and we will be there to support them.”
“Bloodshot” is based on the Valiant Entertainment comic book of the same name and follows murdered marine Ray Garrison (Vin Diesel) as he’s resurrected by scientists using nanotechnology to manipulate him into becoming the ultimate killing machine. The film was theatrically released March 13.
It’s unsurprising Sony made this decision considering the theatrical marketplace is desolate amidst the COVID-19 outbreak. It is curious that they made the film available for purchase rather than rent given it just came out. One can only speculate as to whether digital rental or purchase will be the way forward during this time of quarantine.