By Nick Romano
March 17, 2020 at 08:33 AM EDT

Birds of Prey (2020 movie)

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The Birds of Prey are flying into home television screens a bit early as a gift for those impacted by the coronavirus.

Margot Robbie's DC Comics spin-off, which returns the Oscar nominee as Harley Quinn, will be dropping on VOD home release much earlier than was planned on March 24. Other titles making the move to home theaters is The Gentlemen starring Matthew McConaughey,  Colin Farrell, Charlie Hunnam, and Hugh Grant.

In a tweet sharing the news, Fandango notes that movie lovers can already pre-order both titles on FandangoNOW.

The March 24 release of Birds of Prey will come by way of select digital retailers, including Amazon, FandangoNOW, iTunes, PlayStation, Vudu, and Xbox. At that point, it will arrive with bonus features, like a gag reel and behind-the-scenes featurette. On April 7, the film will then arrive on Video On Demand services from cable and satellite providers, and on select gaming consoles.

Warner Bros. will also release Just Mercy, starring Michael B. Jordan, through digital retailers on March 17 and digitally through Video on Demand services on March 24.

These moves come after Universal made a potentially industry-changing decision to release films currently in theaters through on-demand services as early as this Friday for a suggested retail of $19.99. That includes The Invisible Man, The Hunt, and Emma, with the animated Trolls World Tour being the studio's first day-and-date release (i.e. will be available for a 48-hour period on-demand beginning Friday).

When Cathy Yan, the director of Birds of Prey, heard this news, she tweeted, "I would not be opposed to putting Birds of Prey on VOD earlier." Now, it's a reality.

With so many people staying at home in self-isolation and others practicing "social distancing" measures to help curb the spread of coronavirus, studios are rapidly working to re-strategize plans for films, many of which have been delayed for theaters indefinitely.

One of the first to kick off this new outlook on home releases was Disney, which dropped Frozen 2 on its streaming platform Disney+ months earlier.

It wouldn't feel surprising in the least to see more studios take similar tactics, given fears of the industry losing billions amid theater closures.

This article has been updated with further details on the Birds of Prey and Just Mercy digital and VOD releases. 

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Birds of Prey (2020 movie)

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