Universal Pictures, a division of Comcast Corp-owned NBCUniversal, will make its movies available at home on the same day they are released in theaters worldwide, beginning with the DreamWorks Animation film Trolls World Tour, which opens in the U.S. on April 10.
The market for physical discs has evaporated. So Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. are looking for a way to save the format.
Movie studios are considering whether to ignore the objections of cinema chains and forge ahead with a plan to offer digital rentals of films mere weeks after they appear in theaters, according to people familiar with the matter. Some of the biggest proponents, including Warner Bros. and Universal Pictures, are pressing on in talks with Apple Inc. and Comcast Corp. on ways to push ahead with the project even without theater chains, the people said. After months of negotiations, the two sides have been unable to arrive at a mutually beneficial way to create a $30 to $50 premium movie-download product.
Longtime Universal Pictures executive Rick Finkelstein died Tuesday night from cancer, the studio said Wednesday. He was 64. Finkelstein, known for his sharp mind and business acumen, for years led the studio’s home video and television distribution.
Home Box Office said Sunday it extended its deal with Universal Pictures for the rights to the studio’s movies through 2022, allowing HBO to keep them away from video-streaming rival Netflix, which is aiming to compete with HBO, Showtime and TV outlets.
The media company founded by former Disney CEO Michael Eisner, The Tornante Co., will finance films that will be distributed by Comcast Corp.’s Universal Pictures.