The sequel was launched on 6th April through on-demand channels and a small number of drive-in cinemas.
Universal announced on Monday that Trolls World Tour, the sequel to 2016’s animated musical, achieved the biggest debut for a digital release. The studio launched the film on premium video on demand and in a handful of drive-in cinemas, making it the first major title to bypass a traditional big screen release since the coronavirus pandemic closed most cinemas.
Universal has not provided detailed viewing statistics; studios typically don’t report video revenue, without a central efficient means of monitoring viewership in real time. However, digital revenue reporting is possible, by working with individual platforms, and Universal has reported that Trolls World Tour is the number one title across major on-demand video platforms, such as Amazon, Comcast, Apple and FandangoNow. Universal also said the movie had the biggest opening day and weekend for a digital title, generating approximately 10 times more than the next-largest traditional premium home video release. FandangoNow reported on Monday that Trolls World Tour generated the best weekend sales in the history of the VOD streaming service.
The movie enjoyed a marketing push similar to that of a theatrical release, as Universal was already committed to a high level of promotion, merchandise and TV spot commitments.
Trolls World Tour is the first big-budget film to open on home entertainment platforms, instead of in cinemas. Viewers were charged $19.99 to rent the movie for 48 hours.
It remains to be seen whether Trolls World Tour will make as much revenue on premium digital platforms as it would have in cinemas, followed by a traditional home entertainment release.