19 movies that have been or will be released via streaming (Update: SpongeBob)


Update: June 22, 2020: We have updated this article with word that The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run, is no longer going to be released to theaters. It will now be released via digital movie stores, and later on CBS All Access in 2021.

The coronavirus outbreak has caused 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, earlier than planned. 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 early to digital stores and streaming services, plus movies that cut out theaters completely.

Movies released early because of Coronavirus:

1. Onward


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.

Early release date: March 20, 2020 (You can also watch it on Disney Plus)

Where to buy Onward:

2. The Invisible Man

the invisible man

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.

Early release date: March 20, 2020

Where to rent The Invisible Man:

3. 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. Now you can see if all the fuss is worth it. It depicts an event held by rich liberals where they hunt people they deem to be conservative for sport.

Early release date: March 20, 2020

Where to rent or buy The Hunt:

4. Emma

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.

Early release date: March 20, 2020

Where to rent Emma:

5. 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! 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.

Early release date: March 13, 2020

Where to buy Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker:

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6. 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.

Early release date: March 24, 2020

Where to buy The Way Back

7. Frozen 2

Frozen 2 released early due to coronavirus

Elsa en 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 quests 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.

Early release date: March 15, 2020

Where to rent or buy Frozen 2:

8. Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of Harley Quinn

Birds of Prey movie featured image

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.

Early release date: March 24, 2020

Where to buy Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of Harley Quinn:

9. Bloodshot


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?

Early release date: March 24, 2020

Where to buy Bloodshot:

10. Trolls World Tour

trolls world tour released early for streaming

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. Unlike many of the others, this is only available for rental, and it’s a much more expensive $20 for the privilege. You’ll have access to the movie for just 48 hours. While this sounds like a lot, taking a family to theaters easily costs much more than this normally. Just something to keep in mind. 

Early release date: April 10, 2020

Where to rent Trolls World Tour:

11. 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 in 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.

Early release date: March 31, 2020

Where to buy Sonic the Hedgehog:

12. 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.

Early release date: March 27, 2020

Where to buy The Call of the Wild:

13. 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.

14. 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, will now be available for streaming via Amazon Prime Video on June 26.

15. Scoob


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 digitally as a 48-hour rental for $19.99 or as a purchase for $24.99.

16. Greyhound

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 will now debut exclusively on the Apple TV Plus streaming on July 10.

17. 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.

18. Hamilton

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 will make its debut exclusively on Disney Plus July 3.

19. 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 digital movie stores sometime later this year. It will be available on the CBS All Access streaming service in early 2021.

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