Why Leave Home? Here’s 18 Theater Release Films You Can Watch on Demand

The impact of the COVID19 pandemic has significantly impacted on the global film industry. With the sudden halt of film production and the closing of movie theaters all over the world, the film industry has needed to adapt how they produce and distribute their productions, as well as how they make it available for consumption for the general public. This is where production houses like Disney, Universal and Blumhouse studios and Neon decided to explore an alternative avenue by skipping the cinema release altogether. 

Instead of waiting for movie theatres to reopen after the nation-wide lockdown, many big players, Disney being the first of them to lead the way, decided to skip the theatrical releases and moved straight to VOD releases months before their original release dates were scheduled. 

Now there’s no need to worry that you’ll miss out on the films you’ve waited in anticipation for, with many of them now available on demand you can enjoy the biggest hits of the year from the comfort of your own home. The films on the list are all either available at a premium rental price or for digital purchase. 

Frozen 2

The long-awaited sequel to Disney’s first instalment of Frozen is available to stream on Disney+. After coming to terms with the adventures of the first film, Elsa starts hearing voices calling out to her coming from the enchanted forest. Soon Elsa and Anna are faced with another thrilling adventure. 

Onward

This urban fantasy-adventure is Disney’s latest Pixar release about a pair of elf brothers who embark on a magical quest to spend one last day with their deceased father. Like Frozen 2, Onward is available for digital purchase and streaming, via Disney+. 

The Gentlemen 

This British crime comedy, directed by Guy Richie, was first released early this year and soon after it was made available for digital purchase.  

Emma 

This romantic comedy, which viewers can rent for $19.99, was already released in theaters before the COVID19-related nation-wide lockdown came into effect. Now with the option of renting available, everyone can enjoy this period rom-com about a young woman playing matchmaker, however misguided, with the lives of her friends and family. 

Just Mercy

This drama stars Jamie Foxx and Michael B. Jordan and is currently available as a rental from several VOD services. A gripping law drama, this film follows a new-graduated lawyer as he defends a criminal convicted to death for murdering a young girl despite overwhelming evidence of his innocence. 

Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Thanks to Neon, this romantic drama set in the 1770s was made available for streaming on Hulu months before its actual release date back home. It is a gripping tale of a painter requested to paint a reluctant bride-to-be without her knowledge. But painting this reluctant bribe is harder than she thought it would be. 

The Hunt

This action thriller starring Hillary Swank and Emma Robert was initially set to be released late last year before the release date was moved to March this year. But as we all know, the movie theaters also closed down at the same time. But not to worry, Universal and Blumhouse studios ensured that viewers can rent it on VOD for $19.99.

Birds of Prey

As one of the biggest movie hits of the year, we can safely say that this Harley-Quinn production is available to rent on most VOD services for $19.99. 

Never Really Sometimes Always 

This Sundance award winning film was quickly made available to rent for $19.99 after only a short release in theaters. With a growing following, they had no choice but to rush for an earlier than expected digital release.

Scoob!

Like Trolls World Tour and Onward, this one is a great one to keep the kids occupied. It is available for digital purchase for $24.99, and to rent for $19.99. This is definitely one to keep on repeat for the kids which is why a digital purchase may be better than renting it for a limited time period. 

The Kind of Staten Island

This Judd-Apatow-produced comedy made its debut on VOD services. Starring Pete Davidson, and inspired by his own life, this comedy has enjoyed much popularity since its VOD release. 

The Invisible Man

This film only spent three weeks in theater but in that time ranked in more than $100 million throughout the world. A thriller, this film follows a scientist who stalks his girlfriend after a horrible accident that gave him the ability to make himself invisible. This is another Universal-Blumhouse release that is also available to rent for $19.99. 

Bad Boys for Life

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are back with the third instalment of the all-time favorite Bad Boys series. There’s no need to worry if you missed it in the theaters, this hilarious action-packed sequel is available on almost every VOD service for you to enjoy at home.

Trolls World Tour

DreamWorks Animation was clever to ensure that this popular sequel was released on time, but instead of aiming for a theater release, they premiered the film directing as a digital release mid-lockdown. Like other Universal titles, this one is expected to cost $19.99 to rent.  

Bloodshot 

This action-adventure superhero about a resurrected soldier who is given supernatural powers also made its release in theaters right before the nation-wide lockdown. But viewers have not suffered much as it became available for digital purchase on a variety of VOD services shortly thereafter. 

The Way Back 

This inspiring basketball-coaching drama starring Ben Affleck also only enjoyed a relatively short time in the theaters before it was made available as a rental for $19.99 during the nation-wide lockdown.

Sonic the Hedgehog

Thanks to Paramount, the digital release date of this family comedy was pushed up. After a short time in the theaters, this family film about an evil scientist who discovers an extra-terrestrial hedgehog with superpowers was quickly made available for renting as well as streaming. 

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

As the final chapter in the Skywalker series, this one could not be missed. It was quickly made available for early purchase after the national lockdown but viewers can also stream it on Disney+ and Star Wars Day.

The High Note

Just like many other Universal films, this comedy-drama bypassed its theater release and premiered directly on premium VOD services. Starring Tracee Ellis Ross and Dakota Johnson and set in the dazzling LA music scene, this is definitely one of the top movie hits of the year available for renting and digital purchases.