Covid-19 Forces Digital Movie Releases

Logan Busbee, Co-editor-In-Chief

Due to the coronavirus, movie theaters across America are shut down, with many movies being rescheduled or postponed indefinitely. This makes sense though, as sitting in a crowded theater for around two hours is less than advisable nowadays. However, in spite of this, companies are trying to figure out different ways to distribute new movies while people are in quarantine.

The main way movies are being released now is an early digital release, allowing people to rent them for around $20 for two nights. Early adopters of this were movies that were already in theaters like Bloodshot and Onward. They left their theatrical run to get pushed on to digital fronts like iTunes and Amazon almost immediately. The Hunt didn’t even have the chance to premiere before it too was put onto digital platforms. Most new movies that have come out recently have followed this path, as it’s a simple way to easily distribute the movie, while making more than the average ticket would yield. 

Not many movies are actually releasing digitally though, as companies are more in favor of pushing the release of movies back, rather than seeing how it fares online. With certain blockbusters like Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Black Widow, F9, and Wonder Woman 1984, it’s clear to see why a theatrical run would be kept. However when smaller movies like New Mutants, which isn’t predicted to make much money, are delayed, it begs the question of why not release it now? With people desperately wanting new content, the smaller movies could have a much larger viewer base than in any theatrical run.

The future of new releases for digital movies is still in the air, but it seems like major releases won’t be put onto digital services, as well as most companies forgoing already established streaming services as platforms, like Netflix and Hulu.