Sony Pictures will release Vin Diesel‘s Bloodshot on VOD next week due to widespread theater closures stemming from the coronavirus.
Bloodshot will be available for electronic sell-through on March 24 at a reasonable cost of $19.99, a price point that has emerged as the industry standard.
“Sony Pictures is firmly committed to theatrical exhibition and we support windowing,” said Sony chief Tom Rothman. “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.”
Some industry reporters have suggested it will be hard for Hollywood to put the genie back in the bottle after this, and that once consumers become comfortable shelling out $19.99 to watch new releases in the comfort of their own homes, there will be no going back, but I think that’s terribly short-sighted. Rothman’s statement directly addresses this concern, as he reiterates Sony’s support for the theatrical window. Giving Bloodshot an early digital release isn’t about breaking the theatrical window, because theaters are closed. That window does not exist. It’s simply a smart business move that will help the studio recoup the costs of what was surely an expensive theatrical marketing campaign.
Bloodshot finds Diesel playing Ray Garrison, a soldier who is killed and then brought back to life with superpowers. The film co-stars Sam Heughan, Eiza González and Toby Kebbell and Guy Pearce. Dave Wilson directs from a script credited to Jeff Wadlow and Eric Heisserer, and producers include Neal H. Moritz, Toby Jaffe, and former Valiant Comics CEO Dinesh Shamdasani.
Other new releases coming to VOD early include The Invisible Man, The Hunt and Emma from Universal, The Gentlemen from STX, and Birds of Prey from Warner Bros., which has yet to announce an early digital release for its Ben Affleck drama The Way Back, though that seems inevitable at this point.