At this point in 2020, movie lovers have pretty much come to expect that a number of studios will continue to shift theatrical release plans for upcoming films as things continue to change with the global health crisis. In some cases, however, films have been given simultaneous PVOD releases or have just moved to that method of release exclusively. Well, in a surprising turn of events, Universal has now moved up one of its 2020 films, and it could have some implications for PVOD as well.
Universal Pictures has confirmed that it will be shifting DreamWorks Animations’ The Croods: A New Age from December 23 to November 25, 2020, according to TheWrap. The film will mark the first release from DreamWorks Animation since Trolls World Tour. That film had a limited theatrical run back in April and was simultaneously dropped on PVOD.
Ultimately, releasing Trolls World Tour on PVOD turned out well for Universal, as the film reportedly earned over $100 million in sales. When NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell stated that the studio would consider this as a future model for some of its future releases, it drew backlash from AMC Theaters, which at one point said it would no longer screen Universal films as a result of Shell’s sentiments.
However, the studio and theater chain would eventually reach a historic agreement. Per the deal, Universal films would continue to be shown at AMC locations and there would also be a 17-day exclusivity period for the films to be shown at those venues. Following that stretch of time, films can receive Premium VOD releases, and Universal and AMC will reportedly share the profits.
So what does this all mean for The Croods: A New Age? Well, with the film’s new release date and the new deal between Universal and AMC, The Croods can be released to PVOD just in time for the holiday season. This could theoretically help to boost sales for viewers looking for home viewing options.
The Croods: A New Age was announced to be in development shortly after the release of the original film back in 2013. After being in production for a few years, the film was reportedly cancelled in 2016, yet it went back into production in the fall of 2017. The film, which has been worked on remotely in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, is expected to reunite the original cast, which includes the likes of Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds and Catherine Keener.
The Croods: A New Age is in a prime position to be a success for Universal Pictures, and its new release date should also serve as a pleasant surprise for viewers, especially those with young children who will be looking for something to watch over the holidays.
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Erik Swann is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He began working with the publication in 2020 when he was hired as Weekend Editor. Today, he continues to write, edit and handle social media responsibilities over the weekend. On weekdays, he also writes TV and movie-related news and helps out with editing and social media as needed. He graduated from the University of Maryland, where he received a degree in Broadcast Journalism. After shifting into multi-platform journalism, he started working as a freelance writer and editor before joining CB. Covers superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. He eats more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.