Trolls World Tour was supposed to debut at theaters this weekend in celebration of Easter Sunday. But as theaters across the country shuttered their doors, Universal Pictures made the rush decision to scarp most theatrical release plans for their Trolls sequel and premiere it online as a Digital premium rental for $19.99 with a 48-hour viewing window. That proved to be a good decision. As parents are celebrating the release, turning the idea of an At-Home premiere into a big party.
Some believe that Universal Pictures may have just changed the movie industry forever with this decision. Which proved to be a big hit. This is the first major release to get an At-Home premiere, though quite a few other releases got early Digital and VOD releases these past few weeks.
Most big movies that planned to open at the end of March and throughout April decided to postpone their release dates, pushing them into a future theatrical window. With Dreamworks animated Trolls sequel coming up so quickly, Universal believed it was better just to release it for families at home. Especially considering that it is Easter Weekend. The 48-hour VOD rentals are available on Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Xfinity, Vudu, Google Play, Fandango Now and YouTube.
Though Trolls World Tour did release a recent music video featuring Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake having a 'living room party', Universal didn't rely on their A-List cast to get the word out. Instead they released on a heavy digital and social media campaign with the hashtag #TrollsWatchParty. Turning this into a real event that parents countrywide took part in.
Parents across Twitter, Instagram and other social media outlets have been expressing their excitement in having the animated musical available during Easter weekend. Mom Makeda Gadson shared her daughter's excitement for the upcoming release, saying, "So excited to be planning a Trolls World Tour watch party with my boys this Friday!!! Our whole weekend is going to be TROLLS themed fun... I can't wait! /#TrollsWatchParty."
More parents have joined in on the conversation these past three days. And many got creative, throwing their own living room premieres for the sequel. All of this in an attempt to keep a bit of normalcy during these stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders that have dominated the social conversation for five weekends now. Another parent by the name of Rae said this about throwing her own Trolls Watch Party.
"We threw babygirl a /#TrollsWatchParty. Any excuse to be extra."
The woman then showed off her at-home theater set-up that included a popcorn bucket, a Mott's apple juice, mini Snickers bars, a pack of Red Vines licorice, a Trolls doll and three movie tickets. Another parent named Brenda went even crazier with a full concession stand stacked with all kinds of treats you might find at your local cinemaplex. She even claimed to be offering Pizza for $10 and Wine for $40, which is a little steep, but when at home go for the big bucks, right?
Many Hollywood insiders see the idea of premiering new movies digitally At-Home as a big gamble, and this is entirely new. Some have been hesitant about spending $20 on a movie rental, and some surveyed moviegoers said they were more likely to spend $6-$8 on a ticket. But many think this turned out to be a great idea.
Right now, Universal Pictures is not releasing any grosses for the digital release of Trolls World Tour. Box Office Mojo predicts that the movie has pulled in $1.8 million as of Sunday morning. The movie cost $100 million to produce. The first Trolls movie was a big hit, pulling in $155 million in the states and going onto earn $347 million worldwide from a $130 million budget. You can check out some of the parent tweets below.