The studio announced the move late Thursday afternoon with a $19.99 price. “The Way Back” is the seventh title that was in current release to receive an early release date.
Prior to the crisis, most theatrical releases were not available in the home until roughly 90 days after they premiered in multiplexes. Lionsgate, Sony, Universal, STX Films and Warner Bros. have all announced plans for releasing films early on VOD, including “I Still Believe,” “Bloodshot,” “Birds of Prey,” “The Hunt,” “The Invisible Man” and “Emma.”
“The Way Back” has generated moderate results at the box office, with $13.7 million in its first two weeks. Affleck portrays an alcoholic construction worker who redeems himself by becoming the coach of a high school basketball team. The film, which has a $40 million budget, received a B+ Cinemascore on its opening day and generated positive critical response with an 83% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes. “The Way Back,” directed by Gavin O’Connor, also stars Al Madrigal, Janina Gavankar and Michaela Watkins.
“With audiences largely unable to view films in theatrical release under current circumstances, we have decided to provide the alternative of early digital ownership of our currently released titles to people looking for great entertainment options,” said Toby Emmerich, chairman of Warner Bros. Pictures Group, in a statement. “So, while we remain big fans of the theatrical experience and hope audiences are able to return to cinemas in the near future, we understand that these are challenging times and offering this option simply makes sense.”