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28 movies released early via streaming

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, these movies have released via streaming services instead of film theaters.

Published onJuly 12, 2021


The coronavirus outbreak has caused lots of movie theaters to shut down for the past several months. As a result, many films that were released just before the crisis hit made their debut on digital movie stores, or via streaming services. Also, other films originally set for a theatrical release have either been delayed or have bypassed theaters completely. Here’s a look at the movies that were released to digital stores and streaming services, plus movies that cut out theaters completely.

Movies released or will be released via streaming because of Coronavirus:



Directed by Dan Scanlon, who previously directed Monsters University, Onward takes place in a fantasy world filled with elves, monsters, and more creatures. Two elven brothers find a magical staff and gem that can resurrect their dead father for one day. Due to an issue with the gem, the staff only brings back the father’s lower body half. The two brothers must go on a quest to find another gem to complete the spell, and see their dad again, before the day ends.

The movie was released to theaters in early March 2020, but most theaters shut down soon afterward. Onward was released to digital stores a few weeks later and was made available on Disney Plus in early April.

The Invisible Man

the invisible man
Universal Pictures

Elizabeth Moss (Mad Men, The Handmaid’s Tale) has received critical praise for her performance in this latest reboot of the Universal Monsters series. She plays a woman with an abusive boyfriend with a tech background. She leaves him one night and later is told he has died. But is he really dead? Soon she experiences events that make her convinced her ex is not only alive but has found a way to turn himself invisible to torment her.

The movie was released to theaters in late February 2020, a few weeks before theaters shut down. It quickly was released to digital movie stores in March 2020. It’s also available to stream now via HBO Max.

The Hunt

the hunt

This movie was supposed to be released in theaters back in September 2019. It got pulled off the schedule due to criticisms of its plot by both conservative and liberal groups. Universal finally released The Hunt in theaters on March 13, just before theaters started to close. It quickly went to digital movie stores later in March. It depicts an event held by rich liberals where they hunt people they deem to be conservative for sport.


emma released for streaming early due to coronavirus

This is the latest movie adaptation of the much-loved novel by Jane Austen. Anya Taylor-Joy plays the title character, a woman in 19th-century England’s high society who tries to make love connections for her friends but doesn’t seem to have much luck in love herself.

The movie was released to theaters in late February 2020, a few weeks before theaters shut down. It quickly was released to digital movie stores in March 2020.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker

The final installment of the Skywalker saga is finally here. While it was a bit underwhelming to many, it’s still part of the Star Wars franchise and holds a special place in our hearts. The movie follows Rey, Finn, and Poe as they lead the final battle against Kylo Ren and the First Order. It’s a Star Wars movie, so you must watch it!

The movie was released in December 2019 in movie theaters, but Disney moves up its digital release a few months ahead of schedule. You can purchase it for a stand alone digital movie, or you can sign up for Disney Plus to watch it now on the streaming service.


The Way Back

the way back

Ben Affleck has a great performance in this sports drama. He plays a man who was once a great high school basketball player but is now struggling in life. However, he gets another chance as he’s hired by his old high school to coach the basketball team and bring it back to greatness.

The movie was released to theaters in March 2020, just before theaters shut down. It quickly was released to digital movie stores later in March. It’s now available to stream via HBO Max.

Frozen 2

Frozen 2 released early due to coronavirus

Elsa and her team take you through an adventure far beyond Arendelle’s borders. The past holds secrets and they may reveal the origin of Elsa’s powers. This quest takes them through the enchanted forest and the dark seas, where she finds what threatens her kingdom and what must be done for a better future.

The movie was released to theaters in late November 2019. Frozen 2 was added to Disney Plus in February, several months ahead of schedule.

Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of Harley Quinn

Birds of Prey movie featured image movies released early

Harley Quinn has broken up with The Joker, which proves to be more dangerous than she thought. With no protection, all her previous enemies are now out to get her. She must team up with a group of eccentric women from all walks of life to survive. The movie is quirky, funny, and full of action.

The movie was released to theaters in February 2020, a month before theaters shut down. It quickly was released to digital movie stores in March 2020. It’s now available to stream on HBO Max.


bloodshot movies released early

Vin Diesel plays Ray Garrison, an elite soldier who gets killed in battle. Ray is brought back to life with superhuman strength and fast healing powers, which he uses to try and go after the person who killed his wife. He soon finds out his reality is not what it seems, though. Can he even trust himself?

The movie was released to theaters in March 2020, just before theaters shut down. It went quickly to digital movie stores. It’s now available to stream on Starz.

Trolls World Tour

trolls world tour released early for streaming movies released early

The Trolls take you on a new adventure where Queen Poppy and Branch find out there are all types of different trolls, with all different types of musical interests. Queen Barb and King Thrash want to destroy all other music types, so Poppy and Branch set out on a quest to unify other trolls to defend themselves against the new threat. 

This movie was supposed to go to theaters in April 2020, but the coronavirus outbreak prevented that from happening. It was released directly to digital movie stories. It’s now available to stream from Hulu.

Sonic the Hedgehog

Sonic the Hedgehog movie released early for coronavirus

Sonic finds himself being persecuted by creatures in his world, so he must hide on planet earth. The idea is to stay hidden, but Sonic is bad at this and must now run away to another world. This becomes a problem when he loses his coins, which he must now find in San Francisco. Join Sonic in his adventure with his new best friend Tom.

The movie was released to theaters in February 2020, a month before theaters shut down. It quickly was released to digital movie stores in March 2020.

The Call of the Wild

the call of the wild

Harrison Ford stars in this fairly loose adaptation of the classic Jack London novel. In the 1890s, a dog named Buck gets kidnapped from his California home and shipped to the cold Yukon. He meets an old adventurer, played by Ford, and together the two go on a dangerous trip to deliver the mail in the territory.

The movie was released to theaters in February 2020, a month before theaters shut down. It quickly was released to digital movie stores in March 2020.

Artemis Fowl

artemis fowl

Disney’s young adult fantasy movie centers on a 12-year old boy who is the child of a criminal mastermind who has gone missing. In his search to find his father, Artemis discovers that his dad was keeping some major secrets, including the knowledge of a hidden world of fairies. Kenneth Branagh (Thor, Cinderella) directed the movie, which stars Josh Gad, Colin Farrell, and Judi Dench.

The movie was originally due for release in theaters for August 2019, before Disney decided to release it in May 2020. Now, due to the coronavirus outbreak, it is now available for streaming exclusively on Disney Plus.

My Spy

my spy

This action-comedy stars Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy, Spectre) as a CIA operative. He’s assigned to spy on a family, because they may lead him to find a dangerous arms dealie. However, he gets caught by the family’s nine-year-old daughter. Now he has to deal with her while also completing his mission.

My Spy was originally set for release in US theaters on August 2019, then it got pushed back to January 2020, and then March 2020. The coronavirus outbreak caused its studio, STX, to push the release date back to April 2020. Now the movie, which was already released in theaters outside the US before the outbreak, is now available for streaming via Amazon Prime Video.



Scoob, the latest feature film featuring the Hanna-Barbara Scooby-Doo characters, was supposed to be released to theaters on May 15. Instead, the film is available to purchase via digital movie stores.

The movie is also available to stream now via HBO Max.


This World War II drama will star Tom Hanks as a US Navy captain who leads a fleet of Allied warships and troop carriers across the Atlantic. With no air cover, the fleet has to deal with Nazi U-boat submarines which will stop at nothing to destroy the ships. This movie, which Hanks also wrote, was supposed to be released by Sony Pictures in mid-June in theaters, but it’s now available to watch exclusively on the Apple TV Plus streaming service.

The King of Staten Island

Director Judd Apatow’s latest film is now available to rent via many digital movie stores after a planned theatrical release was canceled. Saturday Night Live cast member Pete Davidson co-wrote and stars in the movie as a man in his mid-20s who lost his firefighting dad many years ago and now doesn’t really want to grow up. He then has to deal with his single mother dating a new man, who also happens to be a firefighter.

The movie is also now available to stream via HBO Max.


hamilton disney plus

The original cast of the multi-Tony Award-winning musical was filmed on stage several years ago on Broadway. Disney bought the rights to this filmed version in 2019, with the hopes that it would be released in movie theaters. Now the filmed musical is available to watch on the Disney Plus streaming service.

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run

spongebob movie

The latest animated film featuring the sponge that lives in a pineapple under the sea was supposed to be released by Paramount on May 22 in theaters. Once the coronavirus crisis hit, the studio delayed its release to August 7. Now, Paramount has announced the movie will skip a theatrical release entirely and will launch on the Paramount Plus service. It’s available to watch via Paramount Plus right now.

The One and Only Ivan

the one and only ivan

This is a Disney movie, based on the award-winning children’s book, about a silverback gorilla who is taken from the wild by a human, and turned into an attraction at a mall along with other wild animals. The movie was supposed to be released to theaters in August. However, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, it is now available on Disney Plus.

Bill and Ted Face the Music

The long-awaited third movie in the Bill and Ted series, starring Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter, was supposed to be released just to theaters. Now, the time-traveling slackers are available on digital movie stores.


This mysterious horror film has only hinted at what’s it all about in its trailers. It was due in theaters on April 24 but it is now available to watch via digital movie stores. It’s also available to stream via Hulu


live action mulan disney

Disney planned to release this live-action adaptation of its classic animated movie in theaters in March. The coronavirus outbreak made the studio delay those plans. The movie is now available to stream via Disney Plus. 


This movie stars Sarah Paulson as a mother who seems to be very, very overprotective of her wheelchair-bound daughter. However, the daughter finally begins to realize that her mom is keeping things from her. This thriller was supposed to open in theaters on May 8 via Lionsgate. However, the movie was pulled off the theatrical release schedule and is now available via Hulu.


Disney’s latest movie from its Pixar studio centers on a middle-school band teacher who unexpectedly finds his soul removed from his body. The movie was due in theaters on November 20 it is now available exclusively on Disney Plus.

Wonder Woman 1984

wonder woman 1984
Warner Bros

The long-delayed DC Comics superhero sequel, starring Gal Gadot as the immortal Amazon Diana, launched in theaters and the US in December 2020 when they were open. It is now available for several months on HBO Max.

It is now available to rent for $19.99 for 48 hours via various digital video stores

Tom and Jerry

This live action-animation hybrid movie about the endless fight between Tom the cat and Jerry the mouse is available via HBO Max.

Raya and the Last Dragon

Disney is trying once again with its Premiere Access business model for Disney Plus. This animated movie was first available on the streaming service for an extra $29.99 fee. Now, all Disney Plus subscribers can watch the movie without an extra fee.

Now you have enough new movies to watch as the Coronavirus outbreak settles down. Stay put and make the best out of this situation!

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