With cinemas around the country closing down in order to curb the spread of coronavirus, the movie business is scrambling to adapt to people's new streaming-only viewing habits. Major events, like the ninth Fast & Furious and the latest James Bond affair, have been rescheduled so they can open whenever audiences can head outside again. But certain studios are also changing up their long-held release models and making new titles available to the couch-bound.
NBCUniversal was the first to announce its plans centered around the new Trolls movie. Trolls World Tour will now be available for a 48-hour rental at home the same time it's released in whatever theaters are still open. Other films from the company's distribution arms that would otherwise be enjoying theatrical runs will also be offered up for the same price of $19.99 a pop. Those include the Elisabeth Moss-starring horror flick The Invisible Man, the controversial Blumhouse thriller The Hunt, and Focus Features' absolutely lovely adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma. They are on demand starting March 20.
Meanwhile, Warner Bros. said that it would be doing the same with the colorful (and ultimately underseen) Harley Quinn romp Birds of Prey. Perhaps in a direct response to director Cathy Yan tweeting that she would "not be opposed to" getting the movie on VOD earlier than expected, the studio is pushing up that timeline. According to Variety, you will be able to purchase the antihero team-up for $19.99 starting March 24 and rent it beginning sometime in April. Also coming to VOD March 24? Bloodshot, the Vin Diesel vehicle that bombed as the box office crept to a halt this past weekend. Other movies available to buy that day include Guy Ritchie's The Gentlemen and the Michael B. Jordan-starring drama Just Mercy.
And the number of movies becoming available just keeps growing. Pixar's latest, Onward, which was released in theaters March 6, is also hitting homes. It will be available for purchase March 20, and land on Disney+ April 3. Sonic the Hedgehog, starring Ben Schwartz, will hit digital March 31.