Last night on The Movie Lovers Unite Podcast I predicted that Ben Affleck’s new movie The Way Back would be released digitally. Well it looks like my little prediction is about to be a reality, because Warner Bros. is diving into its theatrical library for another early digital platform release amidst the nationwide theater shutdown as the Ben Affleck-led The Way Back is set to hit VOD platforms on March 24, two weeks after its theatrical release.
“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,” Toby Emmerich, chairman of Warners film group, said 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.”
The decision to release the film early digitally comes as the studio recently moved up the online debuts of Birds of Prey and Just Mercy to March 24, while fellow studio Sony has bumped up Bloodshot‘s debut, STX’s The Gentlemen and Disney’s Frozen II, while Universal has released The Hunt and The Invisible Man early and are planning to release Trolls World Tour simultaneously online and in theaters in April.
The sports drama, which hit theaters on March 6, has received large acclaim from critics and audiences alike, most of whom single out Affleck’s performance for praise, but amidst theater closures, the film has faced an uphill battle at the box office, currently sitting at a worldwide gross of $14.6 million on a $25 million budget.