Let’s all try to look for the silver linings where we can. It’s true that most businesses, schools, and places of worship will soon be closing their doors in order to stop the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, but luckily the internet is already providing alternatives to keep us connected in at least non-physical ways. In what could be good news during this stressful time, several major studios have announced they will be releasing new films straight to streaming while movie theaters are shut down. 

Universal announced they will be releasing Trolls World Tour, The Hunt, and The Invisible Man for streaming rental much earlier than their initial release dates. Trolls World Tour will be available for streaming movie rental on April 10, while The Hunt and The Invisible Man will be made available this week.

“Rather than delaying these films or releasing them into a challenged distribution landscape, we wanted to provide an option for people to view these titles in the home that is both accessible and affordable,” CEO Jeff Shell said in a statement. “We hope and believe that people will still go to the movies in theaters where available, but we understand that for people in different areas of the world that is increasingly becoming less possible.”

Similarly, Disney brought the smash hit Frozen 2 to its Disney+ streaming service much earlier than anticipated. Frozen 2 is currently available for streaming.

In addition to these straight-to-streaming releases, many different performers, filmmakers, and organizations are streaming their work for free during this difficult time. Longtime Irish folk punk band The Dropkick Murphys are streaming their St. Patrick’s Day concert live for free, legendary dad rock hero Neil Young is setting his tour dates aside and will instead stream intimate performances from his living room.

The Metropolitan Opera is also streaming opera performances for free, and the Ken Burns documentary Baseball is now available for streaming while the MLB season is postponed.

Social distancing and isolation doesn’t have to be boring. This time of #QuarantineAndChill can be a great time to catch up on all the latest streaming releases. Be sure to check out our full list of how to watch streaming video for free during the coronavirus outbreak.

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