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'Trolls: World Tour' Will Debut Digitally On April 10

The Trolls have added another date to their World Tour- your place. Unless you've been living under a rock, you'll be aware that the whole world is currently experiencing a crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We try to keep this site something of a haven from wider world news, but sometimes wider events affect the entertainment world- and this is one of those times. The outbreak has already caused the cancellation or postponement of many major events such as E3, WonderCon, Animation Dingle and GLAS Animation Festival.  With cinemas shuttered or running at reduced capacity in many markets across the world, the studios have had to rethink their plans. Disney have postponed their imminent releases, including the live-action Mulan. Although the virus has hobbled the box-office of Pixar's Onward, we've yet to see an animated movie cancelled or postponed. The next major release is DreamWorks Animation's Trolls: World Tour, scheduled for US release on April 10.

In a bold move, distributor Universal has announced that the Trolls sequel will be among their upcoming titles to be released on Digital and VOD on the same day as their theatrical releases. The film will be available to rent for 48 hours for $19.99, and roughly the same amount in international markets. 20 bucks sounds like a hefty price for a rental, but compares pretty favourably to a trip to the cinema for families.

Media watchers have been wondering which studio would be the first to try something like this. It's unprecedented- but we are living through unprecedented times. Studios have been trying to do something like this for some time, but have met resistance from cinema chains. Universal actually tried to do something like this as early as 2011 with the largely forgotten Eddie Murphy/Ben Stiller vehicle Tower Heist, but abandoned plans following objections from the chains. But with the cinema owners temporarily out of the picture, they can finally try it out.

This is potentially a watershed moment. If this works, will other studios follow suit? There's no suggestion that this would continue after the crisis has ended, but if the audience demand is there- who knows? The theatrical window has already massively shrunk over the past few years, and viewing habits have changed. Cinema operators will definitely resist as long as they can,, but is simultaneous theatrical and home releases an inevitability

We're likely to see more major animated movies delayed this year, but nobody can say how long this will go on for.

Stay safe everybody and keep washing your hands!