When the coronavirus pandemic began to affect life around the country, Universal was one of the first companies to push their theatrical movies straight to video on demand. They quickly moved one of their big spring releases, Trolls World Tour, to VOD — and had (at least according to their official press releases) a record-breaking opening day for a digital movie.

Apparently, that release was successful enough that they’re ready to expand the strategy to more films. The King of Staten Island was originally scheduled to premiere at the 2020 South By Southwest Film Festival. Then South By Southwest was completely canceled by the pandemic. And King of Staten Island — which pairs Saturday Night Live star Pete Davidson with writer/director Judd Apatow — was in limbo.

Today, Apatow announced on his Twitter feed in a video with Davidson that The King of Staten Island was headed to VOD a week before it was originally scheduled to open in theaters:

The King of Staten Island is loosely based on Davidson’s own early years growing up on Staten Island. Like the real Davidson, his character’s father died in 9/11, deeply affecting the rest of his life. In the film, his mom (Marisa Tomei) starts dating a firefighter (Bill Burr), and apparently forces Davidson’s Scott to take stock of his mess of a life.

Previously, most of the big Hollywood films that were bypassing theaters for VOD and streaming were family films — like Trolls World Tour, Warner Bros.’ Scoob!, and Disney’s Artemis Fowl. The King of Staten Island is very much aimed at an older audience, so it will be interesting to see how the film is received on VOD. With all due respect to Apatow’s extremely funny filmography, he doesn’t necessarily produce movies that demand to be appreciated on the big screen for their incredible visuals. People love watching his stuff over and over on home video anyway. So this could be a savvy move.

Gallery — More Movies With Early VOD Releases Due to Coronavirus:

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