Amazon Prime Video offers streaming of new theatrical releases

With cinemas around the world closed indefinitely due to the global outbreak of coronavirus, officially called COVID-19, some movies are being released for at-home streaming while they are still showing in theaters. This week, Amazon Prime Video has unveiled its new page and branding for these releases, which it is calling “in-theater rentals.”

The most recent releases available to be watched at home include Pixar’s Onward, horror remake The Invisible Man, period drama Emma, and action thriller The Hunt. Renting these in-theater movies in high definition costs $20, which isn’t cheap, but isn’t so far from the price of a movie ticket in many regions. The in-theater rentals seem to only be available in the U.S. for now, so international moviegoers will have to wait to see these releases.

Amazon Prime movies still offers plenty of other films to rent or to buy at more reasonable prices of $6 or less, so if you’re simply looking for something to keep you entertained while you’re stuck at home then you have many options. But if there was a new release coming out soon that you were desperate to see, now there’s an option for that too.

The outbreak of coronavirus has been causing chaos in the entertainment industry. Companies like Disney have chosen to release content onto streaming platforms early, such as Disney’s decision to make highly anticipated animated sequel Frozen 2 available for streaming three months before its scheduled release, or releasing Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker on streaming platforms earlier than planned. Disney said it was hoping to provide “some fun and joy during this challenging period” especially for kids who have to stay at home.

Pixar’s Onward, one of the films available via Amazon Prime Video Cinema, was also released early to streaming platforms this week. The movie has been in theaters since March 6, but with cinemas closing down the company decided to make it available for streaming instead.

Disney has delayed some of its upcoming releases as well, such as the next movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise, Black Widow, which was set to open in theaters on May 1 but has now been postponed indefinitely. The live-action remake of Mulan has also been delayed, having originally been scheduled for release on March 27.

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