Universal’s controversial move to release Trolls World Tour on digital has paid off in a big way. We already knew the animated sequel had a dynamite opening weekend, but reports from Wall Street Journal say it continued to rock better numbers than the studio anticipated.
Trolls World Tour reportedly earned Universal nearly $100M over three weeks of digital rentals. That earned the studio nearly $77M in revenue, more than what 2016’s Trolls made for them. If those numbers confuse you, consider the vastly different reporting between theatrical and VOD. While box office earning are split 50/50 between the studio and theaters, Universal claims roughly 80% of digital rental sales. Trolls grossed $346M worldwide, with a $125M production budget. Trolls World Tour cost about $90M to produce.
And these results have Universal considering a change to their overall release strategy, one that balances theatrical and digital…
“The results for ‘Trolls World Tour’ have exceeded our expectations and demonstrated the viability of PVOD,” Jeff Shell, head of NBCUniversal, said. “As soon as theaters reopen, we expect to release movies on both formats.”
One thing that isn’t being mentioned that I’ll just touch on briefly, is the impact Trolls World Tour‘s digital release will have on future Bluray/DVD . Those are going to go into the toilet, most likely, while Trolls did a robust $70M of additional business. When you’re talking about profit margins such as this, those numbers matter, too.