Universal studios said Tuesday that the animated film “Trolls World Tour” has grossed around $ 100 million with its direct online release, one of the few releases that has not awaited the reopening of theaters affected by the pandemic.

According to published data, with those $ 100 million raised in its first three weeks, the digital launch of this tape would match that obtained by the original prequel “Trolls”, which in 2016 reaped $ 116 million in its first three weeks at the box office.

In addition, this year’s sequel overcame one of the great fears for the direct premiere on internet platforms: not giving benefits, because with an estimated budget of $ 90 million the animated film has already managed to recover the investment.

“The results of the ‘Trolls World Tour’ have exceeded our expectations and demonstrated the viability of the on-demand digital format,” NBCUniversal chief Jeff Shell said in statements to The Wall Street Journal.

In an interview, the manager opened the door that this exceptional measure due to the pandemic could be applied on more occasions.

“As soon as the theaters reopen, we hope to release movies in both formats,” he anticipated.

Those words did not please the National Association of Cinema Owners (NATO), which is facing its most serious business crisis due to the closure of stores.

“Universal has no reason to use unusual circumstances in an unprecedented setting as a springboard to avoid true theatrical releases,” said its president, John Fithian.

For the association, part of the success of “Trolls World Tour” is due to the fact that there were “families in their homes desperate to see something new”, who under normal circumstances would have gone to theaters.

“Theaters provide an immersive and shared experience that cannot be replicated,” said Fithian.

The price to see “Trolls World Tour” online is $ 20, slightly more than what is paid for two movie tickets in the United States.

“We are confident that when theaters reopen, the studios will continue to benefit from the worldwide box office,” he said.

Watch the interview with the Mexican comedian.

While adult franchises like “James Bond” and “Fast and Furious” have decided to postpone their premieres until fall and even next year, family or children’s movies are betting on internet releases.

For example, the Warner Bros. Studios will premiere the animated movie “Scoob!” On May 15 directly online, based on the adventures of the famous dog “Scooby-Doo” and the gang of researchers.

It is an alternative in a Hollywood that has been “shocked” by the pandemic by stopping all its filming in progress and suspending premieres as important as “Mulan”, “James Bond: No Time to Die”, “The Batman” and the tape of “The Sopranos”.

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