During the last few weeks movie theatres and cinemas have been shut by governments due to the COVID-19 pandamemic.

This has caused a lot of movies including Onward, Frozen II, Troll’s World Tour, The Invisible Man and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker to be released early to streaming video on demand for purchase or rental.

A check of Australia’s major video on demand rental / purchase platforms shows that the movies are being released at similar pricing across the board on Fetch, Foxtel, iTunes and Google Play Movies.

Don’t get too excited though, this is probably temporary and normal delays for streaming movie availability will happen again once the world isn’t in lockdown.

Big budget films including the new James Bond “No Time to Die”, Universal’s “Fast and Furious 9” and Marvel’s “Black Widow” have had their release dates delayed until COVID-19 is over.

Sure, the film studios will make some money from renting out new releases for streaming and selling digital copies but they’d much rather get the larger chunk of revenue from their profit share of people spending $15-20 each to buy movie tickets at a cinema instead where repeat views aren’t free.

In the meantime, with Australia’s lockdown and social isolation measures likely to last for 6 months at least, you’ll be able to hop onto your video on demand platform of choice and rent/buy new release movies to watch at home.

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If only Google Play improved there 4k movie offering and added Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos support.

Paul Warner

It will be interesting to see how this pans out down here. If it works out in the US and if the theater chains haven’t gone bankrupt it may be permanent, you know like the VHS rental cash cow that they tried to avoid. Here yes you’re most likely correct after this it will be the usual months of waiting for movie rentals again.