Digital release of 'Trolls World Tour' crushes online box office sales during COVID-19 crisis

Before COVID-19 box office receipts were down as much as 30% because of streaming. Now, comes "Trolls World Tour" and it's crushing the online box office.

”The movie has a scene in it in which the characters are singing the words "Hug time... hug time."

It may be HUG TIME in the animated movie, but Hugging is a no-no in these days of COVID19. And, because of all the restrictions on us, Universal Studios decided not to wait for movie theaters and to just release it online.

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For $20 bucks for each 48 hours period you want it, and according to Variety’s Elizabeth Wagmeister, "Universal has just said its the top digital-debut ever not just among Universal, but among any film that’s been released on demand “Wagmeister says that’s big given that this movie wasn’t expected to be a huge blockbuster, but the coronavirus created an opportunity with families at home.

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Families like Jim Simonian’s who told us that, “...being a brand new movie this is something we're really excited about effectively because we haven’t had that much activity.” No one has had much to do. That’s the reason distributors thought the online release might work. But, it is a forever strategy or a response to the pandemic.

Wagmeister says some chains like AMC have suggested that depending on how long the pandemic goes they could be facing bankruptcy., FOX launches national hub for COVID-19 news and updates. 

FOX 11 asked Wagmeister about the future of movie theaters. She told us, 'I really do believe that movie theaters will survive. I think this is obviously going to take a very harsh toll on the movie business. It was already struggling because of the streaming.”

And, she says, “At the end of the day you can’t make billions of dollars and you can’t make a return on a movie that has a hundred million dollar return solely on streaming.”Her point is that smaller movies might work okay this way, but not the really big ones.

And, will moviegoers rush to their local theaters and sit next to each other after all of this social distancing we’ve faced. Simonian says, “Honestly I’m a little nervous about how the pandemic is going to affect families going to movies in the future.”