Trolls World Tour is one of many movies that’s caught in the middle of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. The bad news is its theatrical release isn’t happening. The good news is fans will still be able to see it from the comfort of their own homes. And the film’s star, Anna Kendrick, has been open with how she feels about this sudden change.
COVID-19 has completely changed the way the film industry will operate in 2020, and perhaps beyond. Some of the biggest film releases of the year, including No Time To Die, Mulan, and Black Widow, have been pushed back. Some movies have hit VOD early, after spending a scant few weeks in theaters. Other films' releases have been shifted entirely to streaming platforms, meaning they may never see a theatrical release.
That’s the case with Trolls World Tour. The Universal animated film, and sequel to the 2016 hit Trolls, was originally slated to hit theaters on April 10. Now, instead, it will be made available for digital on demand rental. While the studio’s decision to shift gears has rankled some feathers, at least one of the film’s stars is fully on board. On March 16, Anna Kendrick tweeted her support for Trolls World Tour’s VOD release shortly after it was announced:
The actress makes it pretty clear that she’d prefer fans see the movie in the safety of their own homes. That sentiment seems to be at the heart of why studios are making decisions like this -- and they can’t be easy decisions to make. At the moment, films that were released, or scheduled to be released, in March and April have obviously seen the most changes. Netflix’s Onward, which hit theaters on March 6, was released for digital purchase just two weeks after its release. The Lovebirds, starring Kumail Nanjiani and Issa Rae, will also skip its original April 3 theatrical release and hit Netflix instead.
Some studios seem to be erring on the side of caution. On March 12, Universal Pictures pushed the highly anticipated F9, which was scheduled for a May release, back to 2021. However, other studios are taking a more measured approach in how and when to handle potential delays, as the COVID-19 crisis continues on. Warner Bros., for example, didn’t push back Wonder Woman 1984’s June release date until last week.
As studios weigh potential loss of revenue if they cancel theatrical releases, they’re also gambling with whether a rescheduled date could be too early -- or too late. And though there are plenty of signs that homebound cinephiles are spending their unexpected free time watching films and TV, there aren’t concrete figures yet that show how this shift in habit is affecting Hollywood’s bottom line.
Will you watch Trolls World Tour when it’s available on April 10? Would you have gone to see it in theaters? Let us know in the comments.