Every New Movie Streaming Early While Theaters Are Closed: 'Artemis Fowl' Is Coming to Disney+

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As social distancing becomes the new norm during the coronavirus pandemic, many theater chains have temporarily darkened their screens in an effort to prevent the spread of the potentially deadly virus. While most upcoming film releases are being pushed back, some studios are releasing their newest releases on streaming and on-demand services for quarantined viewing.

Universal Pictures announced releases such as The Hunt, Invisible Man and Trolls World Tour would be available for in-home viewing much sooner than expected, while Disney began streaming Frozen II on Disney+three months ahead of schedule and will do the same with the just-released Onward and would-be release, Artemis Fowl.

“With audiences largely unable to attend theatres in the current environment, we are thrilled to offer the premiere of Artemis Fowl on Disney+,” said the streamer's president of content, Ricky Strauss. "Director Kenneth Branagh and his spectacular cast take viewers right into the vibrant, fantasy world of the beloved book, which fans have been waiting to see brought to life onscreen for years. It's great family entertainment that is the perfect addition to Disney+'s summer lineup."

Below, our up-to-date list of early releases:

Artemis Fowl

Disney's adaptation of the Eoin Colfer bestseller -- starring newcomer Ferdia Shaw in the title role alongside Josh Gad, Colin Farrell and Judi Dench -- will forgo a theatrical release (originally scheduled for May 29) and stream exclusively on Disney+.

"With audiences largely unable to attend theatres in the current environment, we are thrilled to offer the premiere of Artemis Fowl on Disney+,” said the streamer's president of content, Ricky Strauss. "Director Kenneth Branagh and his spectacular cast take viewers right into the vibrant, fantasy world of the beloved book, which fans have been waiting to see brought to life onscreen for years. It's great family entertainment that is the perfect addition to Disney+'s summer lineup."

Availability:Artemis Fowl's streaming date on Disney+ will "be announced soon."


Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)

Director Cathy Yan took to Twitter to celebrate the early release of her female-fronted DC Comics film, which stars Margot Robbie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Rosie Perez, Chris Messina, Ewan McGregor and Ella Jay Basco.

"Thanks to all the fans and supporters out there," Yan wrote. "I’m just happy people will be able to enjoy new and fun movies right now."

Availability: Birds of Prey is available for digital purchase, via Amazon, iTunes and more. The movie will be available on VOD services from cable and satellite providers on April 7.


Bloodshot

Columbia Pictures announced that the Valiant comic adaptation -- which stars Vin Diesel as Ray Garrison, a soldier recently killed in action and brought back to life with new powers -- would be available for purchase shortly following its March 13 theater release.

"Sony Pictures is firmly committed to theatrical exhibition and we support windowing," said Tom Rothman, Chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Motion Picture Group, in a statement. "This is a unique and exceedingly rare circumstance where theaters have been required to close nationwide for the greater good and Bloodshot is abruptly unavailable in any medium. Audiences will now have the chance to own Bloodshot right away and see it at home, where we are all spending more time. We are confident that -- like other businesses hit hard by the virus -- movie theaters will bounce back strongly, and we will be there to support them.”

Availability: Bloodshot is available for purchase in the U.S., via all "leading digital retailers." International release dates are TBD, with "territory-specific COVID-19 impact considerations."


The Call of the Wild

20th Century Studios' adaptation of the Jack London novel -- which stars Harrison Ford opposite a CGI dog in a 1890s-set adventure in the Canadian Yukon -- was released in theaters in February, but "with cinemas currently impacted by closures due to the global health crisis," will now be available for in-home viewing.

Availability: The Call of Wild is now available to buy digitally and on Movies Anywhere for $14.99 in the U.S.


Downhill

Feeling some sort of way trapped in the great indoors with your significant other? Downhill, which opened in theaters in February, may or may not be the reminder you need that you don't have it so bad: Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell star as a married couple on a ski vacation who must reevaluate everything after a seemingly life-threatening avalanche.

Availability: Downhill is now available to buy digitally and on Movies Anywhere for $9.99 in the U.S.


Emma.

Director Autumn de Wilde's candy-colored adaptation of Jane Austen's matchmaking comedy -- which stars Anya Taylor-Joy, Johnny Flynn, Mia Goth, Bill Nighy, Josh O'Connor and more -- is available early on-demand after a limited release that began in February.

"I really hope we can all go back to work soon as so many brilliant hard working folk in the industry and outside the entertainment industry can’t survive long without a paycheck. Until then, I hope Emma. will give you a chance to escape with your imagination and heart while you (please) stay safely indoors," de Wilde shared on Instagram, announcing the film's updated release. "Sending so much love to you and yours. Looking forward to a time when we can rejoice in loving company again. As Jane Austen wrote in Emma: "It's such a happiness when good people get together."

Availability: Emma. is available for a 48-hour rental on "a wide variety of the most popular on-demand services."


Frozen II

Disney delivered a blessing to parents and caretakers who are venturing "into the unknown" amid widespread school closings by releasing the Frozen sequel -- starring Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Josh Gad, Jonathan Groff and more -- three months early on their streaming service.

Availability: Frozen and Frozen II are both streaming now on Disney+.


Gretel & Hansel

Orion Pictures' spooky ooky reimagining of the most famous Brothers Grimm fairytale -- which stars IT's Sophia Lillis as the titular Gretel and newcomer Samuel J. Leakey as her younger brother, Hansel -- will surely provide enough frights to briefly take your mind off the stresses of current events.

Availability:Gretel & Hansel is available to own early on April 7 and arrives on Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand on May 5.


The Hunt

The previously shelved thriller's bad luck continued with the coronavirus outbreak leading to theater closures, but thanks to Universal's on-demand release plan, fans will finally get to see the Craig Zobel-directed class war thriller, which stars Betty Gilpin, Hilary Swank, Emma Roberts, Ike Barinholtz and more.

Availability: The Hunt is available for a 48-hour rental on "a wide variety of the most popular on-demand services." 


The Invisible Man

Practicing social distancing, but still looking for a scare? Director Leigh Whannell's chilling update of the H.G. Wells creation-turned-classic movie monster is also headed to on-demand and streaming. The critically acclaimed thriller stars Elisabeth Moss, Aldis Hodge, Storm Reid, Harriet Dyer, Michael Dorman, and Oliver Jackson-Cohen.

Availability: Invisible Man is available for a 48-hour rental on "a wide variety of the most popular on-demand services."


I Still Believe

The faith-based drama takes its names from the 2002 song by Christian singer-songwriter Jeremy Camp and tells the love story of Camp (played onscreen by KJ Apa) and his fiancé-turned-wife, Melissa (Britt Robertson), as they grapple with the latter's cancer diagnosis. The film will be available for in-home viewing less than two weeks after its originally-planned theatrical release date.

"As filmmakers, we are heartbroken that we can't share I Still Believe on a big screen the way we intended. We make movies because we love movies and we stand firmly behind the nation’s theater chains, from the largest circuits to the smallest mom and pop indies that have been so dramatically affected by these unprecedented closures. But the safety of guests comes first, and we're proud to have the opportunity to share online a movie whose inspiring message of love, hope and faith is perfect for these uncertain times," directors Jon and Andrew Erwin said in a statement.

Availability: I Still Believe is available on premium VOD across all premium platforms.


Just Mercy

Warner Bros. has moved up the digital release date for Just Mercy, the SAG Award-nominated film from Short Term 12 director Destin Daniel Cretton. The film, based on a real-life story, stars Michael B. Jordan as Bryan Stevenson, a defense attorney working to exonerate death row inmate Walter McMillian, played by Jamie Foxx.

Availability: Just Mercy is now available to own digitally and On Demand from cable and satellite providers and select gaming consoles.


Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Director Eliza Hittman's "urgent and poignant drama" -- which stars newcomers Sidney Flanigan and Talia Ryder as teenage girls who, faced with an unintended pregnancy, embark across state lines seeking support -- won the Special Jury prize at Sundance and Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize at the Berline International Film Festival before opening theatrically in March. Now, the indie is even more readily available with an at home re-release.

Availability: Never Rarely Sometimes Always will be available to rent at participating on-demand services for a 48 hour viewing period for $19.99


Onward

Pixar's latest -- which stars Chris Pratt and Tom Holland as elf brothers on an odyssey through a suburban fantasy world -- will be available to purchase the same month it opened int heaters and will hit Disney+ shortly thereafter. 

"While we're looking forward to audiences enjoying our films on the big screen again soon, given the current circumstances, we are pleased to release this fun, adventurous film to digital platforms early for audiences to enjoy from the comfort of their homes," said director Dan Scanlon and producer Kori Rae.

Availability: Onward is available to buy digitally and on Movies Anywhere and will stream on Disney+ on April 3 in the U.S.


Portrait of a Lady on Fire

For those hoping to find love in a hopeless place -- or at least not-so-hopeful pandemic -- look no further than writer-director Céline Sciamma's Portrait of a Lady on Fire, about an aristocrat and a painter (Adèle Haenel  and Noémie Merlant) and the forbidden romance they strike up in 18th century France, which has shored up at Hulu.

Availability: Portrait of a Lady on Fire is exclusively streaming on Hulu before arriving on VOD in April.


Sonic the Hedgehog

Though Sonic won't arrive on DVD until May 19, Paramount Home Entertainment announced that the movie is speeding (pun very much intentional) into homes months ahead of plan, available digitally just one month after its theatrical release and boasting deleted scenes, bloopers and an animated short. Come for Ben Schwartz as Sonic and Jim Carrey as Dr. Robotnik, stay for James Marsden being James Marsden.

Availability: Sonic the Hedgehog will be available digitally on March 31.


Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

The final film of the Skywalker saga -- starring Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Anthony Daniels, Kelly Marie Tran, Naomi Ackie, Domhnall Gleeson, Richard E. Grant, Lupita Nyong'o, Keri Russell, Joonas Suotamo, Ian McDiarmid, and Billy Dee Williams -- hit Disney+ and digital stores a few days early on March 13.

Availability: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is streaming now on Disney+, and available on Amazon, iTunes and more.


Trolls World Tour

The Trolls sequel -- starring Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, James Corden, Ron Funches, Ozzy Osbourne, Rachel Bloom, Kunal Nayyar and more -- will be released in theaters and homes simultaneously on its planned April release dates.

Availability: Trolls World Tour will be available in theaters and on-demand beginning on April 10 in the U.S.


The Way Back

Just over two weeks after its theatrical release, Warner Bros. announced that the Ben Affleck drama The Way Back would be available digitally in the U.S. and Canada on March 24, with international markets to follow.

"With audiences largely unable to view films in theatrical release under current circumstances, we have decided to provide the alternative of early digital ownership of our currently released titles to people looking for great entertainment options,” said Warner Bros. Pictures Group chairman Toby Emmerich. "So, while we remain big fans of the theatrical experience and hope audiences are able to return to cinemas in the near future, we understand that these are challenging times and offering this option simply makes sense."

Availability: The Way Back is available to own from select digital retailers, including Prime Video (U.S. only), Apple TV, iTunes, Google Play, YouTube, DirecTV, FandangoNOW, PlayStation, Vudu, Microsoft Store on Xbox and Windows, and others.


See more about how Hollywood is responding to coronavirus lockdowns and cancellations in the video below.

Each product has been selected, and each product’s style has been reviewed by our editorial team; however, we may receive affiliate commissions from some links to products on this page. Prices listed are subject to change by the retailer.

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