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'Way Back,' 'Birds of Prey' to get early digital releases

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Ben Affleck arrives for the world premiere screening of "The Way Back" in Los Angeles on March 1. The film will be released on digital platforms on March 24. Photo by Chris Chew/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/4a9ecca55c03794764df867fcd07397c/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Ben Affleck arrives for the world premiere screening of "The Way Back" in Los Angeles on March 1. The film will be released on digital platforms on March 24. Photo by Chris Chew/UPI | License Photo

March 20 (UPI) -- Warner Bros. said it will release Ben Affleck's drama The Way Back and Margot Robbie's action movie Birds of Prey on digital platforms on March 24, months ahead of schedule.

The announcement was made Thursday after many theaters, live-event venues and schools closed their doors due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak.

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"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 Warner Bros. Pictures Group, said in a press release.

He added: "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 theatrical premieres of numerous films, including the next James Bond adventure No Time to Die, have been postponed in an effort to keep people from gathering together in large groups during the global pandemic.

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To help entertain those stuck indoors this spring, Disney released Frozen 2 early on its streaming platform Disney+ and Universal announced it would make available on video-on-demand platforms in April new films such as The Invisible Man, Emma, The Hunt and Trolls World Tour.

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