How to watch movies available to rent much earlier than expected as theaters shut down due to coronavirus

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“Emma.”
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Universal
  • Movie theaters across the US are closing due to coronavirus, and some have been forced to close by shelter-in-place orders for all non-essential businesses.
  • In response, studios are released many movies early to video-on-demand, where they can be rented on platforms including iTunes and Amazon.
  • Now, 14 movies including “Birds of Prey,” “Bloodshot,” and “The Invisible Man,” are available to rent just weeks after they were first released in theaters.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Movie theaters across the US are closed indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic, so studios are breaking tradition to release movies during the theatrical window, where they can be rented by viewers at home.

Regal and AMC, two of the largest theater chains, both announced closures on March 17 lasting at least six weeks.

The US has become the third hardest-hit country by COVID-19, the coronavirus disease, after China and Italy. As of March 25, it has more than 55,000 confirmed cases and 802 deaths.

Now, 14 movies including “Birds of Prey,” “Bloodshot,” and “The Invisible Man,” are available to rent just weeks after they were first released in theaters. Here’s how to watch.


Amazon Video is one of the platforms where movies are available to rent.

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Amazon.
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Mary Meisenzahl

To rent a film, search for it in the search box on top.

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Amazon.
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Mary Meisenzahl

“The Hunt” went to video on demand on March 20.

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Amazon.
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Mary Meisenzahl

The film isn’t available to purchase yet, but it can be rented for $20, which more than a typical rental.

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Amazon.
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Mary Meisenzahl

iTunes, available on iPhones, iPads, Macs, and other Apple devices, is another platform to rent movies.

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iTunes.
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Mary Meisenzahl

Search for the movie you want to watch. I chose “Emma.”

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iTunes.
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Mary Meisenzahl

Click on the film, and you’ll be taken to a page with a description and the option to rent. On older movies, there might be options to rent or buy, but this film is new and only has a rental option for now.

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iTunes.
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Mary Meisenzahl

Select rent and you’ll be prompted to log in to iTunes to pay for the rental.

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iTunes.
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Mary Meisenzahl

Movies Anywhere is another service to find movies on. Note that Movies Anywhere is only for purchasing movies, not renting.

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Movies Anywhere.
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Mary Meisenzahl

On the service, you can see movies from Amazon, iTunes, and other platforms synced with your account.

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Movies Anywhere.
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Mary Meisenzahl

Add and sync platforms to keep all your movies accessible in one place.

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Movies Anywhere.
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Mary Meisenzahl

“Birds of Prey” is only available to buy, not rent, and is available on Movies Anywhere.

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Movies Anywhere.
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Mary Meisenzahl

Keep track of all the movies with early video on demand releases here.

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“Trolls.”
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Dreamworks

See the full list of movies here.