the call of the wild on digital

Two more Disney-owned films are getting early digital releases. 20th Century Studios’ Jack London adaptation The Call of the Wild and Searchlight Pictures’ comedy Downhill will both be available to buy digitally in the U.S. starting tomorrow. These two films are the latest to receive early digital releases in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

Walt Disney Studios announced that The Call of the Wild and Downhill will both be available to buy digitally and on Movies Anywhere beginning March 27 in the U.S. Both films can be purchased on digital platforms in the U.S. for $14.99 for The Call of the Wild and $9.99 for Downhill.

This digital release comes about a month after the two of them hit theaters in February — The Call of the Wild on February 21, and Downhill on February 14. Most films are available to buy digitally about 74 days after they first arrive in theaters, but studios are breaking that tradition by releasing their films on VOD mere weeks after, or even on the same day of, the theatrical debut as the coronavirus pandemic shutters theaters across the country. Universal was the first to kick off this practice, announcing the day-and-date release of Trolls World Tour and the early digital releases of their films The Invisible Man, Emma., and The Hunt.

The Call of the Wild is an adaptation of the Jack London book of the same name starring Harrison Ford and a CGI dog. It’s mostly okay, but it is the kind of family film that would do well in the time of self-quarantine, as families are running out of options to watch.

Meanwhile, the Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus comedy Downhill is a fine English-language remake of a far superior Swedish dark comedy that received the ironic Valentine’s Day release back when we were still casually going to movie theaters. It might make a dryly funny date night movie, but its depiction of a family on the brink of collapse may hit a little too close to home for families stuck together for the foreseeable future.

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