Well this is excellent.
In a year where we’ve seen the entire summer movie season collapse in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are now officially guaranteed to get one of those summer movies this summer — albeit at the last possible date and on a less-than-desired platform. Bill & Ted Face the Music, the long-awaited third film in the thirty-year-old comedy series, will now officially open nationwide on Tuesday September 1, 2020 on Video-On-Demand platforms (a.k.a. VOD).
It will also be released into theaters on the same date, but that distribution will be limited as most movie houses remain closed, including all multiplexes in the three biggest chains of AMC, Regal, and Cinemark. As of now, those chains anticipate being open by sometime in August at the latest, so they could be viable theatrical locations for this sequel, but that remains a shaky proposition given the continued COVID spike the U.S. is experiencing virtually everywhere.
Along with the VOD commitment, Orion Pictures also released a new and final trailer for Bill & Ted Face The Music (see above), one that sets up the premise of the threequel rather clearly. It unites characters old and new, including the duo’s two teenage daughters who, by the vibe of their clips, seem to have taken after their two bodacious dads.
While the top delayed summer blockbusters won’t ever jump to VOD, mid-range prospects like this one make sense. The box office hopes for a movie like Bill & Ted 3 were always moderate at best. It’s the kind of nostalgia ride that you could just as easily imagine being a straight-to-Netflix production. Given that, a VOD plays seems natural.
Plus, so far as theater owners are concerned, it’s an easy and understandable concession to make since the resurrection of their theaters will need to be driven by major mega-budget tentpoles. In other words, don’t hold your breath for Tenet, Mulan, or Wonder Woman 1984 to ever make the same lateral VOD, or even to major streaming services.
Orion Pictures did not provide a VOD price point for Bill & Ted Face The Music, so it’s unclear if the movie will fall into the “Early Access” range of other theatrical titles that have made the VOD jump (which is $19.99 for a two-day rental) or if it will come in at a more traditional VOD range of $5.99 to $7.99. I’d bet on the former simply out of necessity for Orion’s financial bottom line.
Either way, it’ll be nice to have a new movie out there that, at its core, promotes the ideal of being excellent to each other.
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