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Sky partners with NBCUniversal to rent new movies as cinemas close

Sky has announced a partnership with NBCUniversal that will see new movie releases made available to rent through Sky Store, on the same day as their scheduled global cinema release. The partnership begins on April 6 with DreamWorks Animation’s Trolls World Tour.

New films will be rented for £15.99 for a 48 hour window.

The deal follows widespread cinema closures brought about by the Coronavirus pandemic. With all major chains shuttering for health concerns, Hollywood has been forced to find new ways to distribute content.

“We hope and believe that people will still go to the movies in theatres where available, but we understand that for people in different areas of the world that is increasingly becoming less possible,” says NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell. 

Sky has a perfect mechanism in its VOD Sky Store, providing studios with a proven 48 hour rental platform.

This new partnership will also see new releases The Hunt (pictured above), The Invisible Man and Emma made available on-demand early this Friday (March 20). 

In the UK Odeon, Cineworld and Picturehouse cinemas have all closed, leaving studios seeking a new route to market.

Odeon has shuttered cinemas to combat Covid-19

“We hope and believe that people will still go to the movies in theatres where available, but we understand that is increasingly becoming less possible…”

Disney’s live action Mulan, long-delayed The New Mutants, Antlers, Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow, and The Quiet Place 2 have all had their theatrical releases shelved. 

Upcoming James Bond adventure No Die To Die shifted its release date to November 2020, while Fast & Furious F9 has been put back a year.

In related news, Sky has announced that it’s making Sky Go Extra available to all customers for free, so busier homes will have access to Sky TV on three screens at the same time. 

“We’re working hard at Sky to make sure we continue to look after our customers,” says Sky UK CEO Stephen van Rooye. “We’re also introducing some things to help make life a little easier for anyone at home trying to work, stay connected to loved ones, or keep the family entertained.”

About Steve May

Creator of Home Cinema Choice magazine, Steve muses and reviews for Trusted Reviews, T3, TechRadar, Home Cinema Choice, Ideal Home, The Luxe Review, Channel News and the i newspaper. He’s also the editor of professional home cinema website Inside CI, and contributor to industry trade magazine ERT. He's on Twitter and Instagram as @SteveMay_UK

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