Universal releases The Hunt, Invisible Man, Emma online early in UK
James R | On 17, Mar 2020
Universal is breaking the theatrical window this week as cinemas shut down amid the spreading coronavirus pandemic.
This unprecedented step will see NBCUniversal make its moves available to stream online legally in the UK only a matter of days and weeks after their theatrical debuts – a step that would have been unthinkable just a couple of months ago.
On Friday 20th March, The Hunt, The Invisible Man and Emma will be available on-demand on Sky Store, while DreamWorks Animation’s Trolls World Tour, the sequel to the Trolls blockbuster, will also be released on Sky Store on the same as its global premiere on 6th April.
Sky’s partnership with NBCUniversal, also owned by its parent company Comcast, comes as Disney has taken similar steps in the USA – but not in the UK – to reach audiences despite coronavirus concerns, with The Rise of Skywalker brought forward early on digital release and Frozen 2 added to Disney+ this week (Frozen 2 will not be available on Disney+ when it launches in the UK on 24th March, but is currently available to buy online).
Stephen van Rooyen, EVP & CEO, Sky UK and Europe says: “We’re working hard at Sky to make sure we continue to look after our customers. We’re also introducing some things to help make life a little easier for anyone at home trying to work, stay connected to loved ones, or keep the family entertained.”
The movies will be priced at a premium VOD rate of £15.99 for a 48-hour rental – which Universal compares to the average cost for a family of four to go to the cinema in 2019 at £28.44.
As well as on Sky boxes, Sky Store is available to non-Sky customers as a desktop, Android and iOS app, plus on NOW and Roku devices, LG Smart TV (WebOS1 or above) and Chromecast.
You can also buy the films on other transactional VOD platforms, including iTunes, Amazon Prime Video and Google Play. Read on for a full guide:
The Invisible Man
Cecilia (Elisabeth Moss) tries to rebuild her life after the death of her abusive partner. But before long, she begins to question whether or not he is truly gone.
In this sly satire, a group of elites gather to hunt ordinary Americans for sport. But one of The Hunted (Betty Gilpin) fights back against The Hunters’ leader (Hilary Swank).
Jane Austen’s beloved comedy about finding your equal and earning your happy ending is reimagined in this delicious new film adaptation of Emma.