As everyone hunkers down during this time of social distancing, people are looking for more ways to pass the time while stuck at home. To that end, Universal Pictures has announced that in the wake of these unique circumstances, the film studio will release its current theatrical movies online as soon as March 20.
The premieres of many films have been postponed in an effort to curb the spread of the virus, and hundreds of movie theaters across the country have also closed their doors.
The movies will be available to rent for a 48-hour period on streaming services such as iTunes and Amazon for a suggested price of $19.99. Some of the titles that will be available include “The Hunt,” “The Invisible Man,” “Emma” and “Trolls World Tour,” which was set to debut on April 10.
“Universal Pictures has a broad and diverse range of movies with 2020 being no exception,” NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said in a statement. “Rather than delaying these films or releasing them into a challenged distribution landscape, we wanted to provide an option for people to view these tiles in the home that is both accessible and affordable. We hope and believe that people will still go to the movies in theaters where available, but we understand that for people in different areas of the world that is increasingly becoming less possible.”
Disney Plus, meanwhile, made “Frozen 2” available to subscribers three months ahead of schedule, and “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” was also released about a week ahead of schedule.
The company took to Twitter to announce the early availability of “Frozen 2”:
— Disney (@Disney) March 14, 2020
“The themes of perseverance and the importance of family are messages that are incredibly relevant during this time, and we are pleased to be able to share this heartwarming story with our Disney+ subscribers to enjoy at home on any device,” Disney CEO Bob Chapek said of the early release of “Frozen 2” in a statement.
Warner Bros. is also making recent theater release “Birds of Prey” available to stream on March 24.
What have you been streaming with your family?