With the nation’s exhibition infrastructure on its knees, and temporarily closed down due to the coronavirus pandemic, Columbia Pictures is making their Vin Diesel action pic Bloodshot available for electronic sell-through on March 24 for the retail price of $19.99. The movie opened at the box office this past Friday to $9.1M and in the wake of the theater closings over the weekend has seen its box office fall from $2.1M on Sunday to $552K on Monday to $191K yesterday.
Similar to Universal’s decision of pushing their recent theatrical fare, The Invisible Man, The Hunt and Emma into the home, the best way for Sony to recoup any money here on this $45M Vin Diesel movies is now via a digital release. Sony co-financed a bulk of Bloodshot with Bona Film Group Co., LTD. and Cross Creek Pictures. The difference here though is while Uni is renting their current titles over a 48-hour window for $19.99 each, Sony is selling Bloodshot to be owned at the same price. The movie is based on the Valiant comic book and follows a soldier, recently killed in action, who is brought back to life by a tech corp. However, despite being an unstoppable force, he begins to learn that the company has control over his mind.
“Sony Pictures is firmly committed to theatrical exhibition and we support windowing,” said Tom Rothman, Chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Motion Picture Group. “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 and see 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.”
Bloodshot‘s international digital sale release is expected to be solidified in the days ahead with territory-specific COVID-19 impact considerations.
Note, the fact that recent theatrical titles are becoming available in the home isn’t ticking off exhibition. They’re shutting down, and they get that the studios have to recoup their costs. But, increasingly, I hear exhibition feels very burned about Universal’s decision to push ahead with an in-home release (and likely theatrical, if there are theaters open over Easter weekend) of Dreamworks Animation’s Trolls World Tour. For theater owners, that’s potential sequel cash they could have shared.