Birds Of Prey Getting Digital Video Release Early

As movie theatres close, Warner Bros. is bringing the Harley Quinn movie to home video ahead of schedule.

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Movie giant Warner Bros. has announced that the Harley Quinn spin-off Birds of Prey will be released earlier than expected for home video in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

Variety reports that the film will be released for home video on March 24. It will cost $20 USD to buy on a variety of stores, including Amazon and iTunes. A rental option will come in April.

This is a big change because Birds of Prey is still in theatres, and it's happening in response to the coronavirus pandemic. With more and more people staying home instead of going out to a theatre--if they even can, considering hundreds of cinemas are closed--Warner Bros. is hoping to serve fans where they are: at home.

Birds of Prey director Cathy Yan said on Twitter, before this news was confirmed, that she was in favor of releasing the movie earlier on video-on-demand.

Birds of Prey is just the latest Warner Bros. project to shift plans due to the virus. Other Warner Bros. movies, including The Matrix 4, The Batman, Fantastic Beasts 3, and King Richard have all paused production and sent cast and crew home due to the outbreak. Another Warner Bros. movie, the untitled Elvis Presley movie from Baz Luhrmann, stopped filming after star Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson announced they had contracted COVID-19 while filming in Australia.

This move from Warner Bros. follows the news from film giant Universal, which announced that Trolls: World Tour would be available to buy on digital services the same day it was expected to come to theatres. Some of the company's other movies that are still in theatres, including The Invisible Man, are coming to digital stores as soon as March 20 in response to the virus.

For its part, Disney brought Frozen II to Disney+ sooner-than-expected, while The Rise of Skywalker is also now available to buy through video-on-demand stores, ahead of schedule.

With theatres closed across the US and the world, movie studios are looking for ways to make up for what are expected to be gargantuan box office losses, and these moves are part of that.

Birds of Prey premiered in February and has made $199 million at the global box office, which includes $84 million from the US and $115 million from international markets. Its box office total is more than double its production budget before marketing expenses.

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