We were decidedly lukewarm on Vin Diesel’s new comic adaptation Bloodshot, a movie that spends a lot of energy pretending that it’s about more than just Diesel using his magical nanomachine blood to rip apart a bunch of generic mooks. On the other hand, there is that famous proverb about beggars, choosers, etc., and so, if you’re finding yourself in the need for some new capital-C Content this week, we’re happy to announce that Bloodshot will soon be available on demand. Most interestingly: David S.F. Wilson’s is coming to paid online viewing on March 24, months ahead of when it was supposed to be available on any home market whatsoever.
Of course, this story is less about Vin Diesel glowering at bullets/Jamie from Outlander, and more about what the current quarantine crisis is doing to the movie business as a whole. Just a month ago, the decision to drop a movie that was in theaters literally last week onto any form of streaming would have been a violation, both of the exclusivity standards so fervently clung to by theater owners, and the general studio attitude that rigid release windows are one of the only ways to keep the Netflix hounds at bay. Now, with the shutdown of theaters nationwide, those standards are already starting to fray, with Bloodshot a potential bellwether (alongside Universal’s current slate of releases) for how a whole bunch of upcoming movies might be likely to go.
For its own part, Sony is claiming that this is a special, one-off deal, of the sort only reserved for the most important of Bloodshot-based films. The studio issued a statement, per Variety, today, noting that “Sony Pictures is firmly committed to theatrical exhibition and we support windowing. 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.” The statement ends with reassurance that the studio thinks the theater industry will bounce back from its current closures, buoyed, presumably, by hundreds more movies in which Vin Diesel glares at someone until they just give up and die.