- As major movie-theater chains close in the US due to the coronavirus, studios are releasing movies early to video-on-demand.
- They include Warner Bros.’ “Birds of Prey,” Sony’s “Bloodshot,” and Universal’s “The Invisible Man.”
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
This story was originally published on March 17 and will be updated as more movies become available on digital early.
As theaters across the US close due to the coronavirus pandemic, movies that were recently on the big screen are arriving early on digital rental or streaming for audiences to watch at home.
Major theater chains like AMC Theatres and Regal have shut down all US locations in accordance with national guidelines to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.
In an unprecedented move, Universal Pictures was the first to announce that it would make four of its movies available on video-on-demand. More studios followed.
Below is every movie coming early to digital and streaming:
SEE ALSO: New movies are coming to digital platforms early for $20 each, but it’s a short-term solution that won’t disrupt theaters
“Onward” — March 20 (on Disney Plus April 3)
Details: “Onward” is now available for digital purchase and on Movies Anywhere for $19.99 beginning at 8 p.m. EST and will stream on Disney Plus on April 3. It opened in theaters on March 6 with $39 million, the lowest opening of a Pixar movie in the Disney era. It earned $103 million worldwide.
Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 87%
What critics said: “Pixar specializes in grounding storybook worlds in real-world-problems, and this one does so with a sprinkle of pixie dust and a dash of realism.” — L.A. Weekly
“The Invisible Man” — March 20
Details: Universal and Blumhouse’s monster-movie reboot, “The Invisible Man,” hit theaters at just the right time on February 28, managing to gross $122 million worldwide off of a $7 million budget. Universal’s early VOD releases cost $19.99 for a 48-hour rental.
Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 91%
What critics said: “Leigh Whannell, who made the wildly entertaining, low-budget action film ‘Upgrade,’ has turned the classic science-fiction tale inside out and fashioned it into a tense, suspenseful story about a brutalized woman’s journey from seclusion to visibility.” — Houston Chronicle
“The Hunt” — March 20
Details: Blumhouse’s controversial thriller, “The Hunt,” hit theaters after being pushed from last year and disappointed at the box office with $5 million. The movie’s initial September release was delayed after August mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas.
Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 53%
What critics said: “It’s regrettable that, despite all of its jabs at relevance, the movie has no desire to actually dig into the details of the anger felt by either side of the bloodsport event it imagines.” — Vulture
“Emma” — March 20
Details: Another of Universal’s recent theatrical releases to hit VOD early, “Emma” was in limited release last month before going wide this month. The period dramedy made $10 million domestically and $23 million worldwide.
Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 85%
What critics said: “It’s funnier than most Austen adaptations and more visually beautiful, and then there’s the movie’s odd tone, which combines a rigorous attention to period detail with an arch and seemingly modern sensibility.” — San Francisco Chronicle
“The Way Back” — March 24
Details: Warner Bros.’ drama in which Ben Affleck plays an alcoholic basketball coach hit theaters earlier this month and earned $13.5 million in the US.
Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 83%
What critics said: “Mr. Affleck owns the role. He plays it with the subtlety of a character actor and the coiled ferocity of the star he has always been, through good roles and bad.” — The Wall Street Journal
“Bloodshot” — March 24
Details: Sony’s “Bloodshot,” which earned $9 million domestically and $24 million worldwide, is now available for $19.99.
Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 31%
What critics said: “Vin Diesel is dependable, if not especially challenged by a film that has most fun in the margins.” — Time Out
“Just Mercy” — March 24
Details: The movie, starring Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx, got a wide release in January and made $94 million worldwide.
Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 83%
What critics said: “Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, ‘Just Mercy’ follows a predictable path that is nonetheless rousing due to the strength of its real-life elements.” — Detroit News
“Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)” — March 24
Details: “Birds of Prey,” a DC Comics spin-off of “Suicide Squad,” hit theaters on February 7 and is available to buyfor $19.99 on Amazon and iTunes (and will be available to rent in April). The movie earned nearly $200 million worldwide.
Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 78%
What critics said: “A bone-cracking visual feast, filled with screen-popping sets and costumes, enough hand-to-hand combat scenes to make Jason Statham seethe with envy, and a fantastic ensemble cast.” — Chicago Sun-Times
“I Still Believe” — March 27
Details: Lionsgate’s movie about Christian singer Jeremy Camp will be available for digital purchase on March 27. It made $9 million in theaters.
Rotten Tomatoes critics score: 42%
What critics said: “Maybe if the Erwins depicted people with half the same detail with which they dote upon Jesus, ‘I Still Believe’ wouldn’t feel so insufferably forced to those of us who don’t.” — Indiewire
“The Call of the Wild” — March 27
Details: 20th Century’s “The Call of the Wild” is hitting digital platforms early on Friday for $14.99, less than the $19.99 other recent VOD releases cost. It flopped at the box office, making $107 million off of a $135 million budget, marking another disappointment for Disney in its Fox acquisition.
Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 61%
What critics said: “There is little here, amid the high-tech photorealistic animations, that would satisfy London’s concept of ‘wild.'” — Associated Press
“Downhill” — March 27
Details: This comedy starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell flopped at the box office with $8 million and is available on Friday on digital platforms for $9.99, half of what most new VOD releases cost.
Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 38%
What critics said: “Downhill too often plays like a cringe comedy that’s all cringe. It’s not just uncomfortable; it’s unpleasant.” — Slate
“Sonic the Hedgehog” —March 31
Details: “Sonic the Hedgehog” was a surprise hit when it arrived in theaters last month, raking in more than $300 million worldwide. But Paramount is still releasing the movie early on digital platforms on March 31.
Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 64%
What critics said: “The simple storyline finds a way to adapt the games’ characters and themes, by adding universal concepts such as friendship to the original games’ tension between nature and machines.” — Globe and Mail
“Bad Boys for Life” — March 31
Details: Sony wil release “Bad Boys for Life” early on video on demand on March 31. It comes to Blu-ray and DVD on April 21. The movie earned an impressive $420 million worldwide.
Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 77%
What critics said: “The best of the three films, offering in some odd ways a corrective to the prior installments.” — RogerEbert.com
“Impractical Jokers: The Movie” — April 1
Details: “Impractical Jokers: The Movie” hit theaters last month and earned $10.7 million. It comes to digital early on April 1.
Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 26%
What critics said: “An undistinguished and unnecessary extension of a brand whose primary attributes are likability, authenticity and relative modesty.” — Variety
“Trolls World Tour” — April 10
Details: “Trolls World Tour” is scheduled for release on April 10. But with theaters closing across the US, Universal is releasing the movie on VOD on the same day.
Rotten Tomatoes critic score: N/A
What critics said: N/A
Also available early: “Frozen II” — now available on Disney Plus
Details: Disney released “Frozen 2” on Disney Plus, three months earlier than it was expected to stream.
Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 77%
What critics said: “Because the first movie generated such a bracing gust of enthusiasm, Frozen 2 will inevitably be nitpicked and judged against those lofty standards. Still, there’s plenty to enjoy for those willing to chill out, and yes, let the past go.” — CNN