We’re deep into a global cinema economy that has been forced to find its place in video-on-demand and streaming cubbies across the internet. Every day there’s another announcement about a rescheduled movie release, whether it’s a studio tentpole that’s been pushed back a year, an arthouse film that’s still weighing its options, or Judd Apatow’s latest, The King of Staten Island announcing it would skip theaters and take its chances on a digital premiere.
With everyone holed up in their homes, paid video-on-demand (PVOD) has quickly become the most promising option for any new movie trying to make a wave. As a result, the typical fare is heavily supplemented, and May is one of the heartiest months for PVOD in a while. Compare 52 releases this month to last month’s 36.
It’s a strange, emotional, and unpredictable time to be alive, and that extends to movie release schedules as prominently as anything else. Below, you’ll find the list of films hitting VOD in May, but first, here are a few highlights:
Theatrical releases that have since pivoted to PVOD releases have been coined “virtual cinema” by marketers and distributors. There were a couple of weeks when it seemed like every theatrical release would be pushed, but after Trolls World Tour raked in over $100 million online alone (and starting an industry war in the process), more productions have decided to take their chances going straight to VOD and distinguishing themselves through pricier rentals.
Among the many virtual cinema releases in May are the animated Scooby-Doo feature Scoob! (May 15th), the SXSW hopeful Bull (May 1st), which was originally slated for a limited theatrical release immediately after the festival, and the highly anticipated crime drama Capone (May 12th), in which Tom Hardy takes on the role of the infamous American gangster Al Capone. Plus, Neon’s got some innovative plans for its two new documentaries, Spaceship Earth (May 8th) and The Painter and The Thief (May 22nd).
Cannes Boundary Pushers
The 2019 Cannes Film Festival was chockablock with films that made audiences feel uncomfortable. But, that’s nothing new for Cannes. Every year, the Croisette welcomes vulgar and controversial expressions of cinema that are exquisitely crafted. But it’s less common that two of them land on the American public’s radar in a single month. And outside of the context of Cannes, they’re sure to shock you. Liberté (May 1st) displays wild sexual deviance through the rejection of 18th century French morality by a group of libertines, and Deerskin (May 1st) follows a man who gives everything up for the sake of his new jacket, only to find himself in a dilly of a pickle drenched in absurdity and violence.
Lastly, no matter what stands out to you on the list below, make sure you save enough of your digital dollars to rent Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala’s 2019 Sundance horror hit, The Lodge (May 5th). The aunt-nephew filmmaking duo has an unparalleled knack for realist horror that leaves you questioning the presence of the supernatural around every corner. Not to mention, the first twenty minutes contains one of the most incredibly shocking moments in cinema in recent memory. The screams at the Sundance premiere remain the loudest I’ve heard in a movie theater.
|May 1||5G Zombies||Horror|
|May 1||Our Mothers||Drama|
|May 1||Tammy’s Always Dying||Drama|
|May 1||The Flood||Drama|
|May 1||The Infiltrators||Documentary|
|May 1||The Wretched||Horror|
|May 5||Cry for the Bad Man||Horror|
|May 5||Cry Havoc||Horror|
|May 5||Justice League Dark: Apokolips War||Animation|
|May 5||Mother’s Little Helpers||Comedy|
|May 5||Ordinary Love||Romance|
|May 5||The Lodge||Horror|
|May 5||Working Man||Drama|
|May 8||A Good Woman Is Hard to Find||Crime|
|May 8||Hope Gap||Romance|
|May 8||How to Build a Girl||Comedy|
|May 8||Intrigo: Dear Agnes||Drama|
|May 8||Valley Girl||Romance|
|May 8||Walkaway Joe||Action|
|May 8||Spaceship Earth||Documentary|
|May 12||A Nun’s Curse||Horror|
|May 12||Evil Little Things||Horror|
|May 12||Fantasy Island||Horror|
|May 12||Finding Eden||Thriller|
|May 12||Graves Without a Name||Documentary|
|May 12||The Traitor||Crime|
|May 15||Blood and Money||Thriller|
|May 19||Last Moment of Clarity||Thriller|
|May 19||Ovid and the Art of Love||Drama|
|May 22||Man in Camo||Documentary|
|May 22||Survive the Night||Action|
|May 22||The Haunted||Horror|
|May 22||The Trip to Greece||Comedy|
|May 22||The Painter and the Thief||Documentary|
|May 26||Girls Just Want to Have Blood||Horror|
|May 29||Debt Collectors||Action|