Hollywood studios are being forced to get creative as coronavirus wreaks havoc on the entertainment industry.
Major motion pictures such as “Black Widow” and “Mulan” have been delayed to later in the year, which will certainly backlog the second half of the year as blockbusters compete for a slot on the calendar, much less enough time to rake in the dough.
One solution that’s making the rounds in Hollywood is releasing the movies early on home entertainment — meaning they’ll be available sooner rather than later for either rental or purchase on services such as iTunes and Amazon. Most rentals and purchases are expected to run around $20.
Here’s a look at the films that are releasing early on-demand:
“Frozen II” was released in the U.S. on Nov. 22, 2019, which means it was due for a digital release relatively soon anyway, but Disney chose to release the film online a bit earlier than expected.
The film is now available to stream on Disney+ and can be rented or purchased via iTunes, Amazon, YouTube and other popular video-on-demand (VOD) services.
“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”
Another Disney property determined to entertain those in self-isolation, “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” was released digitally on March 13, according to Variety.
The science-fiction epic is not available on Disney+ but can be purchased for $19.99 on VOD platforms.
“Trolls World Tour”
Set to debut digitally the same day it hits theaters (the ones that are open, at least), “Trolls World Tour” will become available on April 10.
The film is the first to debut theatrically and digitally on the same day but could set a precedent for future films as self-isolation suggestions remain in effect.
“Birds of Prey”
Margot Robbie in a scene from ‘Birds of Prey.’ (Warner Bros. Pictures via AP)
“Birds of Prey” was released to low box office numbers in February, but perhaps viewers will tune in from home.
The female-led anti-hero team-up flick will be available on March 24 on VOD platforms.
Vin Diesel in ‘Bloodshot.’
(Sony Pictures Entertainment)
Only a few weeks old, “Bloodshot” will also hit VOD platforms early.
Betty Gilpin in ‘The Hunt.’ (Patti Perret/Universal Pictures via AP)
“The Hunt” has had a storied journey to its release.
Now that the film has finally hit theaters, it will also be available on VOD platforms as early as March 20.
“The Invisible Man”
Elizabeth Moss in ‘The Invisible Man.’
Also already in theaters, “The Invisible Man” stars Elizabeth Moss as a woman convinced she’s being hunted by a man no one can see.
The film will be available to stream on March 20 at the earliest.
The adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel will also become available for streaming.
The film will be ready to stream on March 20 at the earliest.
“I Still Believe”
The faith-based story about a musician, “I Still Believe” will follow suit with its fellow March releases.
The film will be available on VOD services on March 27, according to Variety.
“Just Mercy,” starring Jamie Foxx and Michael B. Jordan, is already available to stream on VOD platforms for $20.
The film is currently only available to purchase but is expected to open up to renters on March 24.
Matthew McConaughey in ‘The Gentlemen.’
Starring Matthew McConaughey, Colin Ferrell, Henry Golding and more, the film will hit VOD services a few weeks earlier than planned.
The flick will be available on March 24.
“The Way Back”
Ben Affleck in ‘The Way Back.’
The most recent picture to board the early-release train is “The Way Back,” starring Ben Affleck as an alcoholic tapped to coach a basketball team.
The film will be available on March 24 for $19.99, according to Deadline.