Streaming services allow at-home movie watchers early access

April 7, 2020

 In response to the coronavirus pandemic, movie theaters across the nation have closed their doors to disappointed audiences. Many are beginning to miss the endless reel of previews, the outrageously priced popcorn and, most importantly, the opportunity to view the newest cinematic features on the big screen.

     Some highly anticipated films such as the newest James Bond installment, “No Time to Die,” and DC Comics sequel “Wonder Woman 1984” are delaying their release dates to later in the year, ensuring that viewers can enjoy them in theaters.

     Films released shortly before the closures, however, did not have the opportunity to make that decision. Early access to new movies has consequently become common on streaming platforms in recent weeks. Movies that would still be in theaters today are being made available for people to watch at home months earlier than normal, keeping the critics in business and the fans happy.

     Some films that were released in February and March can now be rented on Amazon Prime and Sky Store. This includes big titles such as “Emma,” “Birds of Prey” and “Sonic the Hedgehog.” New releases “The Hunt” and “The Invisible Man” have taken a similar course of action by moving to digital streaming access.

     Animated feature “Onward” is also now available on Disney+.

     Big titles released at the end of last year can also be found on top streaming platforms. “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” and “Knives Out” are currently available for digital access and on BluRay and DVD.

     “Frozen 2,” which was released last November, has been put onto on Disney+ two months earlier than expected.

     This early access to a variety of new films presents benefits to the millions of people currently quarantined inside in an effort to self-isolate. We now have the opportunity to recreate the cinematic experience at home, and our options are extended.

     The producers of some films have opted to cancel their theatrical releases altogether. “The Lovebirds” was originally scheduled to be released in theaters on April 3 but will now be released exclusively on Netflix instead.

     Content being directly released onto streaming platforms is not a brand-new concept, considering how services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime release original content directly through their platforms.

Media corporations behind the newest films have now opted for at-home viewing options during this crisis. 

     But could this be the beginning of the end for the classic cinematic viewing experience in theaters?

Technology has undoubtedly aided us during this time of quarantine, but the confinement we face with our technology may hint at what is to come in the future, particularly in film viewership.