UPDATE: Birds of Prey has not dropped its price since it was originally released through EST (electronic sell-through) and VOD (video on demand) on March 17th. The film is available to digitally own for $19.99, and to rent on VOD for $5.99. Our original story follows below.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the entertainment industry, with nearly every movie theater in the United States currently shut down for the foreseeable future. As a result, studios have had to make some changes to their new releases, either delaying them until later this year or moving them onto Video on Demand early. One of the first films to do that was Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), which flew onto VOD a little over a month after its theatrical debut. Now, it seems like Warner Bros. is taking another step to help the film find a larger audience. As IndieWire recently pointed out, Birds of Prey is now available on VOD to rent for $5.99 (See on Amazon / VUDU / iTunes ), after initially debuting on the service for $19.99. This comes almost exactly two months after the film first debuted in theaters.
UPDATE: Warner Bros. Pictures has reached out to clarify that the price has not dropped, but that the "rental" period has only just begun. This means that the lower price point is only available for a limited window of watch time, but the unlimited purchase price for digital is still in place at $19.99. The original story follows below.
While some might find the move a little surprising - and potentially some sort of omen about the state of the movie industry - it does make sense on a lot of levels. Multiple films have moved up their VOD release amid the pandemic, and many have been charging around $19.99 to rent or purchase the film. Putting Birds of Prey at $5.99 helps the film stick out amongst the pack of new releases, and also allows people to check out the film - or convince others to do so - without as much of a financial commitment.
It certainly seems like the move is paying off (at least at the time of this writing) as Birds of Prey is now #1 on the iTunes movies chart. The film initially charted at #2 when it debuted on VOD on March 24th, and has fluctuated among the Top 10 chart in the days and weeks since.
Birds of Prey sees Margot Robbie returning to her role as Harley Quinn, as she finds a new outlook on life following her break-up with The Joker. In the process, Harley unintentionally joins forces with Dinah Lance/Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), Helena Bertinelli/Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), and Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez), as they fight to save a young girl named Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco) from being killed by crime boss Roman Sionis/Black Mask (Ewan McGregor). The film is directed by Cathy Yan, with a script from Christina Hodson.
Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) is now available on Video on Demand.
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