A Heap of Recent Cinema Releases Are Being Fast-Tracked to Streaming in Australia

Cinemas across Australia are currently closed, but you can now watch 'Birds of Prey', 'The Gentlemen' and 'Just Mercy' at home.
Sarah Ward
Published on March 28, 2020

If you're the type of movie buff who likes watching new release films on the big screen, popcorn in one hand and choc top in the other, then your viewing habits have undergone some drastic changes in recent weeks. First, upcoming blockbuster flicks started postponing their release dates due to COVID-19. Then, cinemas across Australia began closing — initially by choice, and then by government decree. As a result, no one is gathering in a darkened room to soak in some movie magic from the silver screen any time soon.

In the US, a number of studios have been making the leap to online releases, as a way of still letting audiences access and watch their latest films while everyone is staying home. Australian distributors have been slower to take the same jump, but now Roadshow Films has announced that it's fast-tracking a heap of its recent flicks to digital — so you can catch Margot Robbie's chaotic antics in Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), check out the Michael B. Jordan-starring legal drama Just Mercy or get a dose of Guy Ritchie's latest British crime caper The Gentlemen all from your couch.

In total, 12 recent big-screen releases have been earmarked for digital rental, although some — Joker, Hustlers and The Good Liar — were already available via home entertainment formats anyway. Other titles include entertaining Karate Kid-style Aussie go-karting flick Go!, which stars Richard Roxburgh as an ex-champ reluctantly mentoring an eager teen; Clint Eastwood-directed true crime drama Richard Jewell, about the bombing at the 1996 summer Olympics in Atlanta; and Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears, the partially crowdfunded big-screen spin-off from the beloved Australian mystery TV series.

Most of these movies were still in theatres when cinemas started closing in Australia. Some, such as Ben Affleck vehicle The Way Back — where he plays an alcoholic former basketball star who starts coaching his old high school's team — had actually only started screening at the beginning of March. Either way, being made available to watch at home so quickly marks a big change for the local film industry, with films usually only jumping to DVD and streaming 90 days after they first hit cinemas — although Netflix movies such as Roma, The Irishman and Marriage Story, plus Amazon titles like Brittany Runs a Marathon and The Report, have all been challenging that fixed window in recent years.

For Roadshow, it'll be dropping different films online from different dates, with rentals via GooglePlay and iTunes. Check out the full list of titles and dates below:

Joker: available now
Hustlers: available now
The Good Liar: available now
Go!: available now
Midway: available now
Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn): available Saturday, March 28
Just Mercy: available Saturday, March 28
Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears: available Monday, March 30
The Gentlemen: available Tuesday, March 31
Richard Jewell: available Wednesday, April 1
Motherless Brooklyn: available Wednesday, April 1
The Way Back: available Wednesday, April 15

Roadshow's fast-tracked films are available to rent via GooglePlay and iTunes. To find out further details, visit the distributor's website.

Top image: Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn). © 2020 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

To find out more about the status of COVID-19 in Australia and how to protect yourself, head to the Australian Government Department of Health's website.

Published on March 28, 2020 by Sarah Ward
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