The VOD grosses for Bill & Ted Face the Music have been revealed, and the long-awaited threequel has reportedly made $32 million. Fans were delighted to learn William "Bill" S. Preston, Esq. (Alex Winter) and Theodore "Ted" Logan (Keanu Reeves) would be back for another excellent adventure 30 years after their last one, but its road to release got a bit bumpy this year. Bill & Ted Face the Music was originally scheduled for release in late August, but the coronavirus pandemic caused MGM to shift it around multiple times. Eventually, it settled on a final plan: Bill & Ted Face the Music was released on PVOD and in select theaters on August 28.
At the time, Bill & Ted Face the Music was just the latest film to follow the early on-demand release trend that has dominated this year because of the pandemic. A flurry of films have skipped theatrical runs in favor of heading straight to VOD because of prolonged theater closures, such as Warner Bros.' Scoob and, most recently, Lionsgate's Antebellum. Universal kicked things off when it sent Trolls World Tour to VOD in April. Usually, the public never really knows how well films do on-demand, as studios don't release figures.
However, people now have a bit more insight into Bill & Ted Face the Music's performance. Per Deadline, sources say the film has scored $32 million on VOD. For comparison, it's only earned $3.3 million in theaters. On the weekend Bill & Ted Face the Music hit VOD for $19.99, it was only available in 62% of the United States' theaters. The budget has been estimated at $25 million, but as distributor MGM didn't finance the film, it isn't being viewed as a flop. Bill & Ted Face the Music's revenue has been placed at $7.8 million, thus allowing for future profits as well.
While Bill & Ted Face the Music isn't quite the overwhelming success it might've been had it gotten a traditional theatrical run, it has performed reasonably well under the circumstances. Many have questioned exactly how well early VOD releases work, and this might be an indication that it has some amount of viability under the right circumstances. Universal previously tried to spin Trolls World Tour's performance as a huge win, but later reports suggested it wasn't as big as the studio made it out to be.
It still seems unlikely that early VOD releases will replace theatrical runs, particularly in the cases of highly-anticipated blockbusters. Bill & Ted Face the Music was arguably well-suited for the VOD track since, aside from dedicated fans, it wasn't expected to draw in massive crowds. By releasing it on-demand (as well as those select theaters), MGM gave people the option to watch the film from the safety of their own homes, something many still crave as the pandemic continues. Bill & Ted Face the Music has its VOD figures, and now only time will tell how its future performance shakes out.