Parks & Recreation actress Retta will be on hosting duties for a Twitter ‘Watch Party’, i.e. a communal film viewing conducted on social media, of Universal’s horror pic The Invisible Man this weekend.
The studio is encouraging people to watch the movie in sync from 1PM PT (4PM ET, 8PM GMT) on Saturday March 28 as a way to rekindle a sociable viewing experience, with theaters shuttered around the globe.
To take part, people will need to rent the movie and then follow the hashtag #TheInvisibleManAtHome. The film stars Elisabeth Moss in the story of a woman who, after her abusive ex takes his own life, begins to suspect his death was a hoax.
Universal is also hosting a similar event on Sunday, March 29, for its Jane Austen adaptation Emma. Turner Classic Movies host Alicia Malone will take the reins on the hashtag #EmmaAtHome from 10AM PT (1PM ET / 6PM BST) for the re-telling of the period story starring Anya Taylor-Joy.
Both pics are breaking the traditional theatrical window; Emma was released February 21 in the U.S. ($25M global box office) and The Invisible Man was out a week later on February 28 ($124M global box office). This is a move being replicated by distributors around the world who are left with little choice but to delay scheduled releases or to find new avenues for them, with the online opportunity tricky to ignore as so many people are stuck at home on lockdown. Some movies have even headed directly to streaming services, such as the Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjani romcom The Lovebirds.