Vin Diesel’s Bloodshot, which released in theaters just days ago on March 13th, will be available for home viewing next week on March 24th. This unprecedented move comes in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak, which has seen cinema audiences plummet, major releases indefinitely postponed and cinema chains shutting until the summer.
Bloodshot has been particularly affected by the pandemic. In what might be a big red flag for future releases, the film made just $3.8 million in its first day, and $9.3 million over its first weekend. That weekend was also the lowest-grossing at the box office since October 1998, with audiences understandably avoiding crowded theaters.
Faced with this situation that is certainly not going to improve over the next few weeks, Sony Pictures have clearly realized the only way they can salvage the movie is to get it availably digitally as soon as humanly possible. I think this is a smart move, too. Think about it, there are millions of people trapped at home for the next few weeks and they’ll be hungry for new stuff to watch. And who knows, as one of the trendsetters for this rapid digital release, it might also benefit from being ahead of the curve?
Of course, Bloodshot joins recent releases The Hunt, The Invisible Man, Emma and Birds of Prey, all of which will soon be available for 48-hour digital rental. It remains to be seen if the upcoming major releases like Wonder Woman 1984 and Black Widow will join them or simply be postponed, but we’ll find out soon enough.
Whatever the case, this is bold new territory for the movie industry and a sign that we’re very much in uncharted waters. Who knows, when we come out of the other side of this, this kind of rapid release might even become the norm.