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Universal making theatrical releases available to rent on iTunes by Friday

Trolls World Tour
Trolls World Tour (Image credit: Universal Pictures)

What you need to know

  • Universal Pictures is making theatrical releases available on iTunes this Friday.
  • "The Invisible Man", "The Hunt", and "Emma" will all be available.
  • Rentals will be watchable for 48 hours and be priced at $19.99.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread across the world, one of the first businesses to be forced to close is movie theaters. In response to the problem, Universal Pictures is taking an unprecedented step.

As reported by Deadline, NBCUniversal's Universal Pictures will be making its current and future theatrical releases available to rent on streaming services like iTunes by this Friday.

Some of the titles currently in theaters include Blumhouse's "The Invisible Man" and "The Hunt", as well as Focus Features' "Emma". All three films are expected to be available to rent on iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, and more. The company is going even further and plans to release "Trolls World Tour" to both theaters and streaming services on April 10th.

The rentals will be available for 48 hours and are currently expected to cost $19.99. While that is a hefty price for a rental, it is still more affordable than going to the theater and the first time a studio has broken the cinematic window in this way.

Jeff Shell, CEO of NBCUniversal, said in a statement that the company is continuing to monitor the changing landscape and adapting its strategy to best serve its audiences.

"Universal Pictures has a broad and diverse range of movies with 2020 being no exception. Rather than delaying these films or releasing them into a challenged distribution landscape, we wanted to provide an option for people to view these titles in the home that is both accessible and affordable ... We hope and believe that people will still go to the movies in theaters where available, but we understand that for people in different areas of the world that is increasingly becoming less possible."

No decisions have been made as to what theatrical films will be available for rent on video-on-demand services after "Trolls World Tour" premieres on April 10th.

Joe Wituschek
Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.