As Hollywood continues to wrestle with the unprecedented shutdown of the American theater industry, a number of films that were caught off-guard by the the coronavirus panic have found themselves in danger of falling through the cracks. Released just as the full scope of the crisis was just barely being understood, these movies had their theatrical runs cut short, first by naturally diminished audience numbers, and then by official theater fiat. In some cases, this was less of a loss than others—hey there, Bloodshot—but it does mean that movies like Ben Affleck’s best performance in years, Gavin O’Connor’s The Way Back, didn’t really get their day in court. (And while we didn’t mean to make a basketball pun there, we’re happy to act like it happened on purpose.)
Luckily, the streaming universe is here to pick up the slack, with Deadline reporting that the Affleck-starring addiction drama is the latest movie to have its home streaming window drastically shortened in response to the crisis. (Other such films including The Invisible Man, The Hunt, and Emma, which will be available to rent tomorrow.) The Way Back will now be available for streaming next Tuesday, March 24, allowing audiences to take a second crack at one of Affleck’s best turns in recent memory.
As ever, Warner Bros.’ decision to accelerate the streaming release of the movie—which will be releasing, as it happens, alongside the far more explosive Birds Of Prey—was accompanied by a slightly nervous statement from the company’s chairman, assuring us all that, no theatrical windows are not going away, we love theaters, going to the movies and sitting next to other people’s germ clouds is great: “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.”