Films with abruptly shortened theatrical runs are being rushed to streaming, providing new viewing options in this time of crisis and extended living-room sitting. (Many movies not yet released will also hit streaming early.)
From Pixar’s latest adventure “Onward” (starring Chris Pratt and Tom Holland) to the live action/animation hybrid “Sonic the Hedgehog,” here’s a list of movies prematurely pulled from theaters but fast-tracked for home viewing on Amazon, Apple, Comcast, Vudu, Google, YouTube, Fandango, DirecTV, Charter, Dish, Cox, Altice, Verizon, Sony and Frontier TV.
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The action comedy starring Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani, which would have hit theaters on April 3, will now go straight to Netflix, accordingly to a person familiar with the situation but not authorized to speak publicly.
‘Sonic the Hedgehog’
In mid-February, “Sonic the Hedgehog” had the highest-grossing opening for a video-game adaptation. Only a month and a half later, the film featuring a retooled blue speedster voiced by Ben Schwartz (opposite Jim Carrey’s Dr. Robotnik) is being made available for home viewing. “Sonic” is debuting on digital March 31 – with extras including bloopers, deleted scenes and commentary tracks – but won’t be on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and rental on demand until May 19.
The animated Pixar fantasy starring Tom Holland and Chris Pratt as elf brothers didn’t find too much box-office magic before theaters shut, so Disney is bringing “Onward” home to families: The film is available to purchase on the Movies Anywhere app and other digital platforms. “Onward” is also set to debut on the Disney+ streaming service April 3 (free to subscribers).
‘The Way Back’
“The Way Back,” featuring Ben Affleck in a starring role as a former basketball star who turns to coaching a struggling high school team, will be available on digital March 24. The critically praised drama had been released in theaters March 6.
‘Birds of Prey’
“Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)” marked the return of the DC Comics villain Harley Quinn (Margo Robbie). The R-rated drama earned $84 million in theaters before Warner Bros. announced it would be available March 24 for digital purchase and video on demand.
Vin Diesel’s “Bloodshot” had one weekend of theatrical release, earning $10 million before theaters closed. Like the story of slain soldier Ray Garrison, who is resurrected with superpowers, Sony has announced “Bloodshot” will rise for digital purchase on March 24, just 12 days after it premiered in theaters.
Director Autumn de Wilde’s critically praised remake of the beloved Jane Austen comedy, starring Anya Taylor-Joy as Emma Woodhouse and Bill Nighy as Mr. Woodhouse, had just hit wide release March 6. It’s available to stream now.
Producer Jason Blum’s controversial horror-thriller flick “The Hunt” was killed by theater closures after just a weekend in theaters. The tale of a dozen strangers (including Betty Gilpin, Ike Barinholtz, Emma Roberts and Hilary Swank) who wake in a clearing and discover they’re being hunted by liberal elites is available digitally now.
‘The Invisible Man’
Elisabeth Moss plays a woman pursued by the abusive ex she can’t see in “The Invisible Man,” an instant box-office star when it came out in February. Director Leigh Whannell’s film is out digitally now.
‘I Still Believe’
The faith-based film “I Still Believe” is heading to streaming on March 27. The true-life story of Christian music star Jeremy Camp, played by K.J. Apa, also stars Britt Robertson, Gary Sinise and Shania Twain. “We are providing a path for people to see the film in this extraordinary season,” says producer Kevin Downes.
‘Trolls World Tour’
Universal announced that the animated “Trolls World Tour,” starring Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick as music-loving trolls, will forgo a theatrical release and be available digitally April 10.
Disney’s animated hit “Frozen 2” hit Disney+ three months ahead of schedule (free to subscribers).
The animated film featuring the voice cast of Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel and Josh Gad had already completed its theatrical run and was available on demand. With more than $1.4 billion in worldwide ticket sales, it’s the highest-grossing animated film ever.
‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’
Disney made the final installment of the “Star Wars” trilogy, “The Rise of Skywalker,” available for purchase in mid-March, several days ahead of schedule.
The digital release of “Just Mercy” has been moved up to March 24. The drama, which opened Christmas Day, stars Michael B. Jordan as crusading lawyer Bryan Stevenson and Jamie Foxx as death row inmate Walter McMillian.