Coronavirus: With theaters closed, films from Universal, Disney released early for home viewing, streaming

KGO logo
Tuesday, March 17, 2020
With theaters closed, major films getting early release for streaming
EMBED <>More Videos

With movie theaters and other public venues closing around the world entertainment companies are releasing films early to streaming and other platforms.

LOS ANGELES -- With movie theaters and other public venues closing around the world - and millions of people isolating themselves at home - entertainment companies are releasing films early to streaming platforms.

Disney's "Frozen 2" was released this weekend to Disney+, three months ahead of schedule. Also "The Rise of Skywalker" was released a few days early for purchase on platforms like iTunes and Amazon, though not yet for streaming, ahead of the expected March 17 date.

RELATED: Cancellations, suspensions and shortages related to the global coronavirus outbreak

Universal Pictures is releasing several new films for home viewing on the same day as their global theatrical release, including "Trolls World Tour," "The Hunt," "The Invisible Man" and "Emma."

DreamWorks Animation's "Trolls World Tour" - set to open April 10 - plus other films already in theatrical release will be available on demand as early as Friday, according to NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell.

RELATED: How is coronavirus spread? Symptoms, prevention, and how to prepare for a COVID-19 outbreak

Rentals will be available for 48 hours through Comcast and Sky -- as well as many other on-demand services -- at a suggested price of $19.99 in the U.S.

Many government agencies around the world are ordering or recommending the closing of any public venues, such as movie theaters, where crowds gather. While these restrictions are not required everywhere, the major theater chains including AMC and Regal, have announced they are closing temporarily.