The coronavirus pandemic has majorly affected many of the biggest industries around the world, and Hollywood is no exception. With people in nearly every country staying home to self-isolate and movie theaters being forced to close, many movies released prior to the rise of COVID-19 had some of the worst box office earnings in decades. Pixar’s “Onward” was the only film to earn more than $10 million in its first weekend, and it barely reached that goal. Expected top-grossing films like the highly anticipated James Bond film, “No Time to Die,” have pushed back their theatrical releases to finish the post-production and distribution phases in more ideal situations. All of this is in hopes that these new films don’t flop like the films from earlier this month have.
Just because Hollywood is holding back release dates for some of the biggest films of the year doesn’t mean all of them have. There have been many studios promising to release their recent box office flops to video on demand platforms in order to make up the loss in revenue. Desperate times call for desperate measures, so even if film studios can’t get money from box office revenue, they plan on getting it from streaming services.
Unfortunately for excited viewers hoping to see some of the latest releases at home, VOD platforms are charging premium prices, up to $19.99 for the newest films. Pixar’s “Onward,” Warner Brothers’ “Birds of Prey” and Sony’s “Bloodshot” all cost top dollar on iTunes and Amazon Prime. Although these films are new, the price is quite steep. I might be in the minority, but for films that I would probably watch by myself while eating quarantine snacks in my room, the price just isn’t worth the experience. Other films that aren’t so new are taking advantage of the quarantine as well. “Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker” released in December 2019 and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” released in July 2019, and are both the same prices as films released in late February and early March on these VOD platforms.
Although many films are coming to streaming services early, that doesn’t mean you have to spend $20 to see them. Unless these more expensive VOD films are something the whole family would watch together or something to which you’ve been looking forward, I would definitely skip them. Save those movies for when they’re cheaper; hopefully studios are going to bring prices down to a more reasonable level soon.
On the other hand, there are so many fantastic movies currently on VOD for much cheaper than you’d expect. If you haven’t seen some of the biggest winners from the Academy Awards, now is the best time to do so. Best picture nominees “Parasite,” “1917,” “Jojo Rabbit,” “Ford V. Ferrari” and “Joker” are all $5.99 or cheaper on Amazon Prime. Of course, other best picture nominees, “The Irishman” and “Marriage Story,” are already on Netflix for subscribers.
Although the coronavirus pandemic has put a halt on Hollywood, it doesn’t mean you have to dish out the money for the newest films. Kick back and relax with films you’ve missed or rewatch a favorite of yours–you don’t have to spend all that money while stuck at home.