The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has completely upended the entertainment industry. Production on nearly every TV and film set has been delayed, most upcoming film premieres have been pushed back indefinitely, and a growing number of movie theaters are closed across the U.S. In order to survive, some movie studios are getting creative by allowing
movies still in theaters to stream early. A growing number of new films are ditching the traditional theatrical release window and are instead heading directly into peoples homes, offering viewers the chance to stream the movies immediately rather than waiting for theaters to reopen.
Different movies have taken a different approach to these early home releases. Some of the films that people are able to stream early have already exited theaters and were scheduled to arrive on digital platforms at a later date, but those dates have since been moved up days, weeks, or even months. Others were movies that were in theaters when the outbreak began, and are now offering viewers the chance to purchase their streaming ticket from their couch. And third, some movies that aren't in theaters yet have chosen not to delay their release and are instead opting to head straight to home viewing.
To see all the
major new releases you can stream right now, take a look at the list below. Unless otherwise noted, all films are available to be digitally purchased or rented through major online retailers such as Amazon, iTunes, or your cable provider on the dates listed.
This film had some festival heat and was slated for theaters in spring.
Then the pandemic hit and distributor NEON switched to a digital release. It’s less biopic than turning Jackson’s life into one of the author’s haunting stories, with Shirley (played by Elizabeth Moss) visited by an aspiring young author (Odessa Young) and her husband while battling agoraphobia and alcoholism in 1960s Vermont. Available now with a Hulu subscription, for $2,99 from Amazon Prime, or $1.99 from Google Play and YouTube.
From the director of
Pontypool comes this bizarre tale of a mob boss (Henry Rollins) sending a hitman to get a drugged-out famous jazzman's finger (both characters played by Stephen McHattie). Unfortunately it's during a vampire wedding at the home of crime queen The Contessa (Juliet Lewis). Available to rent now for $6.99 from iTunes, Google Play and Amazon Prime, and $3.99 from FandangoNOW.
Kevin James leads a group of escaped convicts in a lake house raid; unfortunately the house is occupied by Becky (Lulu Wilson) and her dad (Joel McHale) at the time. Available now on Amazon Prime for $3.99, and YouTube and Google Play from $6.99 and up.
Yes it’s another Vietnam movie, but this one’s from Spike Lee. The story follows a group of veterans returning to Vietnam to find their squad leader’s remains... and a chest of gold. It's available right now, but only with a Netflix subscription.
A detective (Shawn Ashmore) is convinced his wife’s suicide is actually a murder, and tracks down the father-son serial killers (Gary Cole and Richard Harmon respectively) responsible. The thriller is currently available to rent for $6.99 or buy for $9.99 on both GooglePlay and Vudu.
A mother-daughter story steeped in Texas details, following a former beauty queen mom working multiple jobs get her daughter, who’d rather join the dance squad, into the same pageant she won, held on the holiday of Juneteenth. The film will be available starting June 16 across a number of streaming platforms, with no prices yet available.
'Short History of the Long Road '
Appropriately opening in available drive-in theaters on June 12, this road movie about a father and his increasingly reluctant daughter living the itinerant life comes to digital June 16 on a number of streaming services for $4.99 and up.
Initially slated for a June 19 theater release, this film’s instead hitting streaming services the same day. it's a horror thriller starring Kevin Bacon and Amanda Seyfried as a screenwriter and his much younger actress wife. They take a trip to a remote Welsh house to try and repair their fraying relationship, but things get spooky. No prices are currently listed, but the film will be available across a wide swath of rental services including Apple TV, Google Play, and YouTube. If you want to know more,
there’s a new featurette just released.
This story of a young woman falling in love with a small time drug dealer as she’s coping with a serious illness sounds like Lifetime hankie material, but plays more like comedy. No price is currently listed, but the film will be available on Google Play and other streaming services starting June 19.
'Portrait of a Lady on Fire'
Though it already had a limited digital release, this slow-burn drama of a reluctant bride and the female artist pretending to be her lady in waiting to secretly paint her portrait becomes available on more platforms June 23. Available on Hulu with a subscription, and $1.99 to rent on YouTube, Google Play, and Amazon, and many others.
Jon Stewart wrote and directed this story of a Democratic political consultant (Steve Carrell) who helps a conservative retired Colenel (Chris Cooper) run for mayor of a small Wisconsin town. Also starring Natasha Lyonne, Rose Byrne, and Topher Grace,
the film ‘premieres at home’ on a number of streaming services June 26, including Fandango Now, Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Vudu and others, with no price listed yet.
' Inmate #1: The Rise of Danny Trejo'
Universal Pictures is leading the way on VOD releases (they were also behind early adopters
Trolls: World Tour and King of Staten Island) and this documentary on the life of prolific character actor Danny Trejo is another excellent addition to the list. No official streaming options or prices are listed yet, but the film will be available July 7.
And rounding out our list of streaming premieres is this horror film with an ironically appropriate name. Also released by IFC, they're remaining far more coy with details, but here's what we do know: It's directed by Dave Franco, stars Alison Brie, and follows two couples who start to believe the owner of their vacation rental home is spying on them. The film's set to hit streaming on July 24, but if you have a car on the west coast, it's also
getting a limited, earlier drive-in release.