In what is becoming a familiar refrain after Universal Pictures opened the floodgates on Monday, a relatively popular new release is heading directly to video-on-demand as the coronavirus crisis worsens. This time it is Vin Diesel’s superhero actioner, Bloodshot, that is breaking through the theatrical window like some kind of cybernetic super soldier.
Sony and Columbia Pictures’ Bloodshot, which debuted in third place at the box office this past weekend, will make its VOD debut on March 24. This very reasonable move is being made after the film already suffered from the historically low moviegoing attendance of the past week. And that began even before movie theaters started voluntarily shutting down nationwide in both the U.S. and UK. New York and Los Angeles mayors have also legally closed all theaters in their cities.
Bloodshot competitor The Hunt was among the movies that made history, including The Invisible Man and Emma., when its studio Universal Pictures opted to put all three of them on VOD this Friday, breaking the theatrical window. But like a lot of things that seemed impossible a few weeks ago, the at least temporary end of the theatrical window is our new reality today. Warner Bros. followed suit shortly afterward with Birds of Prey and The Gentlemen. But we suspect that Bloodshot will not be the last of the slated spring 2020 releases to make the jump to VOD as movie theaters across the world continue to go on lockdown.
“Sony Pictures is firmly committed to theatrical
exhibition and we support windowing,” said Tom Rothman, Chairman of Sony
Pictures Entertainment’s Motion Picture Group, in a statement. “This is a
unique and exceedingly rare circumstance where theaters have been required to
close nationwide for the greater good and Bloodshot is abruptly unavailable in any medium.
Audiences will now have the chance to own Bloodshot right away andsee it
at home, where we are all spending more time. We are confident that—like other
businesses hit hard by the virus—movie theaters will bounce back strongly, and
we will be there to support them.”