Movies streaming early amid theater closures

The coronavirus pandemic has shuttered theaters across the nation, but there’s a silver lining for movie fans.

Films that had their theatrical runs abruptly shortened 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 “Bloodshot” to “Birds of Prey,” 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.

‘Birds of Prey’

Margot Robbie is walking down the street: All of Gotham's mercenaries target Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) at one point in "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. Universal will make the film available Friday. 

‘The Hunt’

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 will be released digitally Friday. 

‘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 headed to digital release on Friday. 

‘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.


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.

‘Frozen 2’

a woman taking a selfie: Elsa (voiced by Idina Menzel) makes a new friend in the magical salamander Bruni in the animated sequel "Frozen 2."

Disney’s animated hit “Frozen 2” hit Disney+ on March 15, three months earlier than scheduled.

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 Feb. 25. 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 on March 13, several days ahead of schedule.

‘Just Mercy’

Michael B. Jordan sitting at a table: Bryan Stevenson (Michael B. Jordan, left) works to free wrongly imprisoned Walter McMillian (Jamie Foxx) in "Just Mercy."

Warner Bros. moved up the digital release of “Just Mercy” 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.