Updated

'Soul' skipping theaters in favor of Disney+ in December

'Soul' will be available to all Disney+ subscribers on Christmas Day, no premium fee required.

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A drama about an alcoholic construction worker and former high school basketball star who seeks redemption by coaching the same team he used to play for, this Ben Affleck vehicle received middling reviews and box office returns, but critics singled out Affleck’s searing performance. The movie went VOD on March 24, just weeks after its initial U.S. theatrical release.

I Still Believe

U.S. theatrical release date: March 13

VOD release date: March 27

Price: No details yet

This faith-based docudrama centers on Christian singer-songwriter Jeremy Camp and his wife, Melissa Lynn Henning-Camp, who learns prior to their marriage that she’s suffering from ovarian cancer. While the movie didn’t get a fair shake in theaters due to the growing coronavirus threat, it’ll have a better chance to find its audience once it goes the VOD way on March 27.

Bloodshot

U.S. theatrical release: March 13

VOD release date: March 24

Price: $20 to buy (iTunes, Amazon, Vudu)

Vin Diesel’s PG-13-rated superhero movie may have bombed during its box office debut barely a week ago, but it’s hard to tell whether audiences stayed away because they weren’t interested or because crowding into a movie theater didn’t seem like a good idea anymore. In any case, this Matrix/Robocop rehash sounds like a welcome diversion for fans of pulpy, down-and-dirty sci-fi, and it became available for purchase online starting March 24, merely a week after its theatrical bow.

Birds of Prey

U.S. theatrical release date: February 7

VOD release date: March 24

Price: $20 to buy, $5.99 to rent (iTunes, Amazon, Vudu)

This R-rated superhero (or supervillain) saga with Margot Robbie headlining as Harley Quinn failed to make a big dent in the box office, but it’s still surprising that Warner Bros. decided to release it to VOD a couple months ahead of schedule.

Emma

U.S. theatrical release date: February 21, 2020

VOD release date: March 20

Price: $20 to rent (iTunes, Amazon, Vudu)

A buzzy and prestigious adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic novel, Emma was still doing steady business in theaters when the first movie-screen closures hit, and now Universal is doing what would normally have been unthinkable: releasing the film to VOD on March 20 as a $20 rental.

Frozen II

U.S. theatrical release: November 22, 2019

VOD release date: Available now on Disney+

Price: Included in the price of a Disney+ subscription

As I type this very article, my seven-year-old daughter is about three feet away, asking me a question approximately every 30 seconds. Thank goodness for Disney, which decided to release the sequel to “Frozen” as a Disney+ exclusive a full three months ahead of schedule. Talk about the perfect carrot for convincing your tykes to finish their remote-learning math assignments.

The Hunt

U.S. theatrical release date: March 13, 2020

VOD release date: March 20

Price: $20 to rent (iTunes, Amazon, Vudu)

Originally slated for theatrical release last fall, but pulled from the schedule amid controversy over its violent subject matter, The Hunt finally made its theatrical debut less than a week ago. That what makes The Hunt’s VOD release on March 20, only a week after it landed in theaters, such a head-turner.

the invisible man Universal

The Invisible Man is one of a series of recent hit movies getting an early VOD release.

The Invisible Man

U.S. theatrical release date: February 28, 2020

VOD release date: March 20

Price: $20 to rent (iTunes, Amazon, Vudu)

Another buzzy hit from Universal, this Elizabeth Moss-starring horror film was already a hit when theaters around the globe began to shutter. Normally, it would enjoy a long run on the big screen before going VOD in the summer. Instead, The Invisible Man is now available to rent online for $20, way ahead of schedule.

Trolls World Tour

U.S. theatrical date: Originally scheduled for April 10

VOD release date: April 10

Price: $20 to rent (iTunes, Amazon, Vudu)

Trolls made a big splash when it made its way to theaters back in 2016 (clearly a lot of kids loved it, but my seven-year-old movie critic gives it an “eh”), so expectations were high when its sequel, Trolls World Tour, was scheduled for an April 10, 2020 theatrical release date. Well, that’s not going to happen, but Universal has a new plan: a so-called “day-and-date” VOD release for the big-budget kids flick.

Updated on August 12, 2020 to clarify Disney’s “Premier Access” policy for Mulan on Disney+.

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