5 movies you'll be able to watch at home much earlier than expected as theaters shut down

invisible man

  • As major movie-theater chains close in the US due to the
    coronavirus, studios are breaking the traditional theatrical window
    and releasing movies early to video-on-demand.
  • They include Warner Bros.’ “Birds of Prey” and Universal’s “The
    Invisible Man.”
  • Visit Business
    Insider’s homepage for more stories

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 announced on
Monday they would shut down all US locations after the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention offered new guidelines to help slow
the spread of the coronavirus. 

In an unprecedented move, Universal Pictures is breaking the
traditional theatrical window and making four of its movies
available on video-on-demand
as early as Friday
. That includes “Trolls: World Tour,” which
hadn’t hit theaters yet (it was scheduled for April 10). 

Business Insider will be updating this list with more movies as
they become available for home viewing earlier than expected.

SEE ALSO: Movies
that have been drastically impacted by the coronavirus, including
‘Fast and Furious 9’ and ‘Mulan’

“Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley

“Birds of Prey,”
a DC Comics spin-off of “Suicide Squad,” hit
theaters on February 7 and will be
available to buy
for $19.99 on Amazon and iTunes on March 24
(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

“The Invisible Man”

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, arriving as early as Friday, will likely 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”

Details: Blumhouse’s controversial thriller,
“The Hunt,” hit theaters over the weekend 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.” —


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

“Trolls World Tour”

Details: “Trolls World Tour” is scheduled for
release on April 10 and was the only major release standing between
now and “Black Widow” in May. But with theaters closing across the
US, the Universal is releasing the movie on VOD on the same

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: N/A

What critics said: N/A

Also available early: “Frozen II”

Details: Disney released “Frozen 2” on Disney
Plus this week, three months earlier than it was expected to

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.” —

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5 movies you'll be able to watch at home much earlier than expected as theaters shut down