COVID–19 is doing everything in its power to shut down theaters permanently. With almost every theater shut down across the globe, studios have had no choice put to release its films on digital or VOD early to recoup some revenue losses. It’s what every human who hates leaving the house wants to hear.
In today’s roundup, The Way Back (from Warner Bros.) and Sonic the Hedgehog (from Paramount) are the latest releases to head to digital early. The Way Back will be available to own in high definition and standard definition from select digital retailers starting March 24 for $19.99. Toby Emmerich, Chairman, Warner Bros. Pictures Group gave a reason why for the early digital release:
“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. 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.”
Meanwhile, Sonic the Hedgehog is debuting early for purchase on Digital March 31, 2020 from Paramount Home Entertainment. Paramount also revealed that the 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and for rental on demand release will be May 19. The digital and physical copies will come with the following special features:
- Commentary by director Jeff Fowler and the voice of Sonic, Ben Schwartz
- Around the World in 80 Seconds—See Sonic’s next adventure!
- Deleted Scenes—Director Jeff Fowler introduces deleted scenes
- Bloopers—Laugh along with Jim Carrey and the cast
- “Speed Me Up” Music Video
- For the Love of Sonic—Jim Carrey and the cast discuss what Sonic the Hedgehog means to them
- Building Robotnik with Jim Carrey—See Jim Carrey bring supervillain Dr. Robotnik to life
- The Blue Blur: Origins of Sonic—Explore the origins of the legendary Blue Blur
- Sonic On Set—Visit the set with the voice of Sonic, Ben Schwartz
Now for some streaming news. Onward, Pixar’s latest film, is now available to own digitally for $19.99. It will also hit Disney+ on April 3 in the U.S. Also hitting streaming is The Lovebirds, starring Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani. It looks like Paramount has sold the distribution rights to Netflix because that film will be hitting the streaming service at a later point this year.
Finally, after films like Black Widow, No Time to Die, and F9 got delayed, it was only a matter of time before coronavirus caught up to the minions. Minions: The Rise of Gru has been delayed due to the fact that it won’t be finished in time for release. As Chris Meledandri, founder and CEO of Illumination, said in a statement (via Variety):
“In response to the severity of the situation in France, we are temporarily closing our Illumination Mac Guff studio in Paris. With this decision we are abiding by the French Government’s guidelines and doing everything possible to slow the spread of the virus as we care for our artists and their families. This means we will be unable to finish Minions: The Rise of Gru in time for our planned global releases in late June and early July. While we all grapple with the enormity of this crisis, we must put the safety and protection of our employees above all. We look forward to finding a new release date for the return of Gru and the Minions.”
This is just the latest batch of movies to have been affected by coronavirus. We’ll keep you updated on if more movies that were set to come out this summer get delayed.