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Coronavirus forces several new movies to release early as digital rentals, watch them now

Birds Of Prey Poster Hero
Birds Of Prey Poster Hero

With social distancing so vitally important to keeping yourself, your family, and the rest of the people around you safe, it's not the smartest idea to go live our lives as we normally would, and that includes not partaking in some of my favorite hobbies like live concerts or going to the movie theater. Thankfully, the entertainment industry is working overtime to keep everyone from becoming too bored while stuck at home. In a surprise move, production companies like Warner Brothers, Sony, and Universal have decided to forego traditional release timelines and move several new movies to digital retailers early. This not only includes movies that had a planned digital release in a few weeks but also includes movies that have not even reached theaters yet!

The mix of movies being released early is pretty varied too, so there's something for your household whether it's just you and your significant other watching, a few kids, or the whole family. Now, it's important to be aware that some of these films are only available to rent at this time, and the rental price of $19.99 is quite a bit higher than we're used to seeing on digital rentals. Of course, when you consider how much movie tickets and concessions like popcorn and soda would cost you at a movie theater, digitally is likely a more affordable way to watch these films.

As always with iTunes rentals, you'll have 30 days to begin watching the film after making the purchase. Once you've started watching the movie, you'll have 48 hours to finish the film. After that point, it'll be removed from your account. For the films available for purchase, most are eligible for Movies Anywhere which means buying them at iTunes will also give you access to watch them on other digital retailers like Vudu and Google Play — as long as you're a Movies Anywhere member, that is. Luckily, it's free to join.

How to watch purchases from iTunes

Not accustomed to using iTunes? What you might not know is that now that the Apple TV app (opens in new tab) is around, you can watch any movies or shows you purchase on iTunes using it. The app is available on more than just iOS devices, so you can download it to an Amazon Fire TV Stick (opens in new tab) or a Roku Streaming Device (opens in new tab), and those are just two of the most popular options. Most of the films above are also eligible for the Movies Anywhere service.

What is Movies Anywhere?

Movies Anywhere is a free service which lets you link all of the accounts you have at various digital retailers like iTunes, Vudu, and Google Play so that the movies you buy at one are synced to your connected libraries at each retailer. That way you can search for deals and buy from various retailers without feeling restricted to shopping at whichever store is available on the device you're currently using. There are some movies that don't work with Movies Anywhere, and this page lists them all if you're curious. For instance, Paramount, Lionsgate, and MGM studios do not participate so their films are currently unavailable and will not sync to your linked accounts.

Alex is a graduate from the University of North Florida with a background in sales and merchandising. When he’s not hunting down the next great deals to post on Thrifter, he can be found making music and working on his eBay business.
6 Comments
  • That doesn't help me. It's on iTunes!
  • iTunes purchases are available to watch on the Apple TV app now! That's available to download on various smart TVs, streaming devices like the Amazon Fire TV Stick, Roku devices, and more. Android smartphones are still a no-go :( But it's not strictly an iOS platform anymore either. Alternatively, some of these films are available on other digital retailers like Vudu if you're against using iTunes completely.
  • Yup. Most of these are available elsewhere, like Vudu. Some are not but I suspect they will be very soon.
  • Bad Boys For Life, March 31 as well.
  • Thanks for the heads up!
  • You should add links to Google Play and Amazon, these are all available there also. Unless you only get the commission from iTunes.