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Bond distributor Universal moves to Video On Demand during crisis

16-Mar-2020 • Bond News

Universal Pictures, the global distributor of the next James Bond film 'No Time To Die', has pivoted to a Video On Demand strategy in the face of cinema closures around the world, according to Variety.

With most major countries in Europe on lockdown, and many states in the US also restricting public gatherings, the studio is going to launch online VOD rentals for their films that are currently on release. Furthermore, films that they had planned to release in the coming weeks will also launch on VOD simultaneously with whatever limited cinemas are available.

Had 'No Time To Die' released on February 14th, as had been the plan for sometime after Cary Fukunaga took over directing, the 25th James Bond film would have been at cinemas for approximately one month and would have fallen into this category with Universal and been available for home rental streaming this Friday.

A home video release of any kind under 90 days is unprecedented for major blockbusters, due to arrangements studios have with cinema chains.

“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,” NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said in a statement. “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.”

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