I canceled my subscription to Amazon Prime right as the pandemic lockdowns began and 12 months later I don’t miss it at all

Jeff Bezos
Amazon cofounder and former CEO Jeff Bezos.

  • It turns out that Amazon Prime isn’t necessary, even if you’re ordering from Amazon frequently.
  • I canceled my subscription in May 2020, and it has had zero impact on order speed or pricing.
  • On the plus side, I’m saving at least $120 annually on the expensive membership fee.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

In April 2020, just as the pandemic lockdowns were taking effect in New York City, I canceled the Amazon Prime subscription my wife and I shared.

In the year-plus since that subscription ended, I’ve not missed it a single time – and we’re saving $130 annually, plus tax, by not paying for the service.

We aren’t anti-Amazon crusaders by any means: This year so far, I’ve placed 15 separate orders for products delivered through Amazon. Last year, the total was 20 orders.

How much were my shipping costs for all of those orders? A grand total of $17.57 for 2020, and a whopping $12.26 in 2021 so far.

That includes two air conditioners (with free shipping), two large Tommy Bahama beach chairs (again, free shipping), and a variety of gifts sent to a relatively remote town in Pennsylvania.

Email from Amazon after canceling Amazon Prime subscription.
In the email confirming my Amazon Prime cancelation there is a massive button to re-join Amazon Prime, naturally.

While it’s true that some of those items we purchased would’ve come with a slight discount through Prime, or that some would’ve been delivered the very next day (rather than two or three days later), it’s extremely unlikely that those discounts would add up to the over $100 difference between what we’re paying in shipping now versus what we were paying for a Prime membership.

Moreover, even without a Prime membership, most items we buy through Amazon are delivered shockingly fast.

Living in Brooklyn, not too far from a major Amazon distribution center on Staten Island, assuredly doesn’t hurt! But I’ve had similarly positive experiences sending gifts through Amazon to family in Pennsylvania and Ohio, where packages arrived days ahead of projected arrival times.

But what about Prime Video? Frankly, we weren’t using it, and we’re already paying for Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Max. I can name specific reasons for those subscriptions – shows, movies, or entire libraries that justify the ongoing subscription fee. With rare exception, that didn’t happen with Prime Video for us.

More often than not, the video we did want to watch on Prime Video still required a rental fee. That happened enough times that we stopped turning on the service altogether.

My context isn’t everyone else’s context, of course. My wife and I don’t have kids, we live in a major city, and we own a car. Frankly, there weren’t a lot of good reasons for us specifically to pay for Amazon Prime.

Do we really need the Frankie’s Spuntino cookbook delivered the next day, or is it okay if we wait a few days? I kinda think we’ll survive.

But maybe you’re a new parent and you need diapers tomorrow, no matter what? Or you’ve got a job that keeps you from getting errands done during normal business hours? Or any other number of perfectly reasonable situations? I get it!

There is more to the calculation here than strictly financials, and the decision depends on a lot. For $120 annually, though? It’s a decision worth considering.

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

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‘The Tomorrow War’ stars Chris Pratt as a family man battling alien invaders – the sci-fi movie hits Prime Video on July 2

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Chris Pratt in "The Tomorrow War."
Chris Pratt in “The Tomorrow War.”

Prime Video Monthly Subscription (small)

The Tomorrow War,” a new sci-fi action movie starring Chris Pratt, premieres exclusively on Amazon Prime Video on July 2. Prime Video subscribers can watch the movie at no additional cost.

Pratt plays an ex-military family man who is drafted by time travelers to fight a war against aliens 30 years in the future. The movie is directed by Chris McKay, whose previous credits include “The Lego Batman Movie” and “Robot Chicken.”

The Tomorrow War” was originally scheduled to be released in December 2020 by Paramount Pictures and Skydance Media, but the premiere was delayed due to COVID-19, and the global distribution rights were acquired by Amazon Studios.

During a recent interview with Reuters, Pratt requested viewers’ undivided attention while streaming the movie at home and recommended putting your phone away to get the full experience. “Give yourself that gift, honestly,” Pratt said. “When you’re paying the money to go to the theater… you’re buying a two-hour escape from your phone and I think you can give yourself that at home if you’re a little bit disciplined.”

Where to watch ‘The Tomorrow War’

The Tomorrow War” debuts on Amazon Prime Video on July 2. The movie won’t be screened in theaters, so Prime Video is the only place you can watch it.

A subscription to Amazon Prime costs $119 per year or $13 a month and includes access to Prime Video’s entire library of movies and series. If you’re only interested in accessing the streaming service and don’t need Prime’s other perks, a standalone subscription to Prime Video costs $9 a month.

New subscribers can get a 30-day trial, so you can watch “The Tomorrow War” for free when it premieres if you sign up now. After your trial, your subscription will renew for the regular price unless you cancel.

Amazon Prime Video’s entire library of movies and TV shows can be streamed on most smart TVs, computers, smartphones, current Xbox and PlayStation consoles, and Amazon’s Fire Stick and Fire tablet devices. You can see a full list of supported devices here.

Prime Video Monthly Subscription (small)Prime 30-Day Free Trial (small)

What other sci-fi movies and shows can I watch on Prime Video?

In addition to “The Tomorrow War,” fans of sci-fi will find numerous movies to watch on Amazon Prime Video for no additional cost, including “Inception,” “Galaxy Quest,” and “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.”

If you’re looking for a new Amazon Original series to binge-watch, the first season of “Upload” is available to stream on Prime Video. This sci-fi show stars Robbie Arnell as a computer programmer who is marooned in a digital afterlife and attempts to unravel the mysterious circumstances that brought him there. “Upload” is renewed for a second season.

For more details on Prime Video, check out our full Amazon Prime Video guide.

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Renting a movie online is as simple as a few clicks – here’s a full breakdown of all the major rental services

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You can rent new movies from services like Prime video, Vudu, Apple TV, Google TV, and FandangoNow.

  • There are a number of online services that let you rent movies to stream at home.
  • Popular video rental services include Prime Video, Apple TV, Google Play, Vudu, and FandangoNow.
  • Movie rentals typically last 48 hours after you start watching a film.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Remember when renting a movie meant going to a store? Times have changed for the movie industry. With video rental chains a relic of the past, online streaming has become the new standard for renting movies to watch at home.

With multiple services to choose from – including Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Vudu, Google Play, and FandangoNow – it’s never been easier to find a film worth renting on a smart TV, media player, or mobile device. These platforms all allow you to browse through a huge catalog of digital films, enabling you to pay for rentals individually rather than as part of a subscription.

To help make your next movie night at home more enjoyable, we’ve broken down some of the basics of renting streaming films from a variety of services. So, put a bag of popcorn in your microwave and pick up your controller or tablet – there are a lot of great movies out there waiting to be discovered.

What services can you rent streaming movies from?

Services like Vudu, Google Play Movies, Apple TV, and FandangoNow all offer a comprehensive assortment of movies that you can rent individually without a subscription. Amazon Prime Video, meanwhile, actually offers individual rentals in addition to its subscription service for Prime members.

Once you’ve created an account with any of the above services and added your payment details, renting a title is as simple as a few clicks. In most cases, you can simply browse through the platform’s website or download the service’s app. After finding the title you want, you simply click on the movie and complete the instructions to confirm your rental.

How much do streaming movies cost to rent?

Amazon Prime Video, Vudu, Apple TV, FandangoNow, and Google Play all let you rent movies for as little as $3, though most newer releases top out at $8 depending on the quality you choose. Brand-new movies that are still playing in theaters can cost a bit more, however, with some in-theater titles going for as much as $20 to rent.

How long can you stream movies after you rent them?

You typically get 30 days to start watching a title once you rent it. After you press play, you usually have 48 hours before your rental expires.

Can you buy streaming movies to keep permanently?

In many cases you can choose to buy a digital movie instead of just renting it. This will allow you to stream it whenever you want for as long as you want. Digital movie purchases typically range in price from $5 to $30 depending on how new a film is. 4K Ultra HD versions of movies are sometimes more expensive than high definition (HD) or standard definition (SD) versions.

It should be noted, however, that digital purchases aren’t quite as permanent as buying a DVD or Blu-ray. When you make a digital movie purchase, you’re essentially buying the license to keep streaming that title from the service you’ve selected. But, if that service somehow goes out of business or loses the rights to the title you bought, it’s possible that you’ll lose access to your digital copy.

Can you rent brand-new movies still playing in theaters?

In response to theater closures during the pandemic, studios have allowed people to stream many brand-new movies that would otherwise be exclusive to theaters.

Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Vudu, FandangoNow, and Google Play all offer these “in-theater” titles. Disney Plus also releases select in-theater movies via “Premier Access,” which requires an extra fee in addition to your regular subscription. Depending on the studio, some titles might only be available to rent, while others are only available to buy.

Prices for in-theater rentals can be as high as $30 per title. This may seem expensive if you’re planning to watch “Spiral: From The Book of Saw” on your own, but if you’re a parent with kids who would have otherwise spent a small fortune to see “Raya and the Last Dragon” in a theater – this is a steal. Rental prices are also reduced over time – “Raya,” for instance, is now just $6 to rent through VOD, or free to stream with a Disney Plus subscription.

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Emma Stone in “Cruella.”

Some notable ‘in-theater movies’ currently available to rent or own include:

Since the movie selection is about the same no matter which rental service you choose, picking a platform to use really comes down to choosing the app that works best on the devices you own. Below, we’ve broken down some key details for all of the major digital movie retailers.

Vudu

Vudu streaming app
The Vudu app interface is easy to navigate.

Vudu is available on many devices and even includes a selection of free movies with commercials.

Vudu maintains a massive inventory of titles to rent at various price points. The service used to charge more for 4K versions of its titles, but most movies are now priced the same regardless of their video quality.

The Vudu app is readily available on many platforms and recently expanded its support to Amazon Fire TV, which was one of the few devices it was missing from. We also like that its app tends to work well and support most features no matter what platform you use it on.

Vudu also has an edge over some competing services thanks to its “Free With Ads” selection. This collection of titles rotates practically every week, and though there are ads, breaks are rarely lengthy or too intrusive. So, if you’re trying to entertain on a budget and don’t feel like paying for a rental — this is one of the best options available.

Apple TV

apple tv plus
You can rent movies and sign up for Apple TV Plus in the same app.

Apple TV ties in seamlessly with the rest of Apple’s services.

Apple offers a large selection of movies to rent through its Apple TV app on a variety of connected devices. Though in-app transactions were originally limited to web browsers and mobile devices, you can now rent movies directly from the Apple TV app on most media players and smart TVs. 

The Apple TV app is also a strong performer when it comes to general video and audio quality. The service offers one of the largest 4K rental selections, giving you the best overall AV experience for your dollar.

As a bonus, the Apple TV app is also home to the Apple TV Plus streaming service. You have to pay a subscription fee of $5 a month to unlock Apple TV Plus content, but it’s convenient to be able to access TV Plus shows and movies in the same app as your rentals.

On the downside, the Apple TV app is not available on Android mobile devices.

FandangoNow

FandangoNow streaming app
FandangoNow lets you rent movies to watch on many devices.

FandangoNow is the only rental service with IMAX Enhanced movies for high-quality streaming on select Sony TVs.

Like all of the digital rental stores on our list, FandandgoNow offers a large selection of movies to choose from. The platform is also available on most connected devices, and was recently added to Apple TV products.

The service has been in the 4K streaming game a long time now and they do an impressive job bringing high quality picture and audio to homes. FandangoNow is also the only rental service currently offering support for the IMAX Enhanced format. This tech offers specially optimized HDR picture and DTS sound on supported Sony TVs.

If you have a Dolby Vision compatible TV or a Dolby Atmos audio setup, however, you’ll likely want to opt for Vudu or Apple TV since FandangoNow does not currently support those formats. 

Amazon Prime Video

Amazon Prime Video
Prime Video has a big selection of rental options in addition to its subscription library.

Prime Video has a huge library of movies you can pay to rent, even if you’re not a Prime subscriber.

Amazon Prime Video does a lot of things right, and it provides an impressive list of digital rentals you can buy without a subscription. If you’re a Prime member you also gain the added benefit of a massive number of movies and shows as part of your subscription. On top of that — similar to Vudu — Amazon Prime offers a small selection of “Free With Ads” titles sponsored by IMDB.

Prime Video is one of the only digital retailers currently offering support for the HDR10+ format. With that said, the platform’s Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos support is sorely lacking as there are very few titles that offer those features. 

On that note, my main problem with Prime Video is its lack of clear format and quality labels. 4K HDR viewing options aren’t always available and it’s not even always clear whether a title is supposed to include those features or not.

Depending on the device you’re using, you often have to hunt specifically for the 4K UHD version of a movie or show to see if that option exists.

Google Play Movies/YouTube

Google Play Movies streaming app
Google Play Movies is available on Android devices, while YouTube offers the same selection on smart TVs.

Google Play Movies and YouTube are both convenient rental service for Android users.

When it comes to movie selection, Google is basically on par with the other services on our list. That said, Google appears to be in the process of phasing out the Google Play Movies app. As reported by Variety, the service is no longer available on Roku devices or smart TVs from Samsung, LG, and Vizio. Instead, you can rent movies directly through Google’s YouTube app on those devices.

YouTube doesn’t have the best interface for highlighting Google’s selection of movie rentals, but the rental process works about the same as any other service once you’ve found a movie you’d like to watch.

Google Play Movies is still available as an app on Android devices, however, and I prefer this mobile interface for renting movies. It easily allows me to find what titles I have in my digital library and what titles offer 4K, as well as navigate new rentals and purchase options, shop deals, and browse what new “in-theater” titles are available.

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Amazon is acquiring MGM, the studio behind James Bond and Rocky, for $8.45 billion

no time to die
Daniel Craig as James Bond in “No Time to Die.”

Amazon is acquiring film studio MGM for $8.45 billion, it announced Wednesday.

Amazon’s acquisition of MGM Studios could mean a big expansion of Amazon Prime‘s streaming inventory to include MGM’s big-name movies and TV shows. These include the James Bond, Rocky, Creed, and Pink Panther franchises, alongside “Legally Blonde” and “A Star Is Born.” Its TV shows include “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Fargo,” “Shark Tank,” and “The Real Housewives.”

“The real financial value behind this deal is the treasure trove of IP in the deep catalog that we plan to reimagine and develop together with MGM’s talented team,” Mike Hopkins, senior vice president of Prime Video and Amazon Studios, said in a press release.

Amazon said that completion of the transaction was subject to regulatory approvals.

Industry sources told Insider that Amazon had been at the table for months. One person close to talks also said another major media company had made a lower bid and had been rejected from the process last week.

The Wall Street Journal reported in December that MGM was exploring a sale. The company had already started a formal sale process, and prospective buyers had been expressing interest since last spring, per The Journal’s report, which also cited people who said the company had a market value of $5.5 billion.

Other companies were also in the running to acquire MGM, including ViacomCBS and Sony Pictures Entertainment, per the report. One person close to talks also said a major media company had made a $6 billion bid and had been rejected from the process last week.

Jeffrey Wlodarczak, principal and entertainment and interactive subscription services analyst at Pivotal Research Group, said that Apple and Comcast were also “logical” other bidders, in an analyst note seen by Insider.

MGM’s catalog would bolster up Amazon’s portfolio

Like the rest of the film industry, MGM was hit by the coronavirus pandemic, and it had to push back the release of the next Bond installment, “No Time To Die.”

Its revenue dropped 3% year-over-year to $1.5 billion in 2020. Its film segment was the worst hit, with an 83% fall in revenue from theatrical releases, as movie theaters closed or operated at lower capacity.

But the company was saved by its deep catalog, which includes about 4,000 films and 17,000 TV episodes, and its chief operating officer, Christopher Brearton, said in the company’s third-quarter earnings announcement that 2021 could be its biggest-ever year for new content.

Amazon has been knuckling down on investment in its media division as demand for streaming has boomed during the pandemic.

Last month, Amazon’s streaming service surpassed 200 million Prime members worldwide – 175 million of whom streamed Prime Video content in the past year, according to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who said streaming hours were up more than 70% year-over-year.

The company said it made $7.6 billion – or about 7% of its total net sales – from its subscription services in the first quarter of 2021.

One Hollywood executive told Insider that thanks to Amazon’s distribution deal with premium TV and movie service Epix, which was acquired by MGM, “Amazon Prime Video has data on every movie played in the eco-system and they know how Bond, Creed, and Rocky perform.”

“They know on a household basis, on a geographic basis what titles are popping in 40 million-50 million households,” the executive said. “And that was the valuation equation that drove the price up.” In the end, price back and forth price negotiations meant Amazon’s deal came in a little lower than the $9 billion figure suggested in early reports.

Wlodarczak said in the Pivotal Research Group note, sent before the deal was finalized, that Amazon was “massively overpaying,” but that this investment was needed to stay competitive with Netflix.

“Amazon Prime’s originals hit rate appears dramatically below Netflix since launching in 2013, with frankly pretty limited hit success rate,” he said. He said that hits are important because they drive usage of Prime, which in turn creates “stickier” customers for Amazon’s other services.

Wlodarczak said that by acquiring MGM, Amazon would get a “decent but in my view tired” catalog.

He said that, adjusted for inflation, James Bond is the third-highest grossing film franchise of all time behind Marvel and Star Wars, but that “recent results have been trending in the wrong direction.” Of recent releases from the franchise, only Daniel Craig’s 2012 “Skyfall” has made it to the top 10 Bond box office results, adjusted for inflation, he said.

MGM only owns half of the Bond franchise. Producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson still have final say on the franchise’s direction, Insider’s Travis Clark reported, meaning there won’t be a Prime Video Bond TV series without their approval.

The sale to Amazon is a stunning finale for a studio brand that a decade ago was deeply in debt. MGM sold to Sony and a group of investors including private equity firm Providence Equity for $3 billion plus $1.9 billion in debt back in 2004.

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‘Wonder Woman 1984’ is back on HBO Max, and you can also buy it from Amazon, Vudu, and other VOD streaming services

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wonder woman 1984 warner bros
“Wonder Woman 1984” is Gal Gadot’s fourth film as the titular character.

  • “Wonder Woman 1984” is back on HBO Max ($15/month) after premiering on the service in December 2020.
  • The movie is also available to buy through VOD services like Amazon and Vudu for $20.
  • HBO Max subscribers will get access to more brand-new Warner Bros. movies throughout 2021.

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“Wonder Woman 1984” is back on HBO Max, the same streaming service it premiered on in December 2020. The movie was the first in a series of Warner Bros. films made available for streaming the same day they hit the big screen.

Director Patty Jenkins and stars Gal Gadot and Chris Pine return for “Wonder Woman 1984.” The action picks up 40 years after the conclusion of 2017’s “Wonder Woman.” Kristen Wiig plays Cheetah, a villain who can match Wonder Woman’s superhuman abilities, and “The Mandalorian” star Pedro Pascal plays nefarious businessman Maxwell Lord.

HBO Max subscribers were given one month of exclusive access before “Wonder Woman 1984” was removed from the service and made available to buy from other providers, like Amazon, Vudu, and Google Play. “Wonder Woman 1984” was added back to the HBO Max library in May 2021 alongside other DC films like “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” and “Batman v Superman.”

Warner’s decision to debut its theatrical releases on HBO Max has already helped bring millions of new subscribers to the streaming service, and could influence other studios to pursue a similar course. Data from research startup Antenna showed that HBO Max signups increased 4.3 times during the weekend “Wonder Woman 1984” premiered.

How to watch ‘Wonder Woman 1984’

“Wonder Woman 1984” is currently available to all HBO Max subscribers; the streaming service costs $15 a month for commercial-free access to its library. A $10/month ad-supported plan will launch in June.

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“Wonder Woman 1984” is also available to buy through video-on-demand (VOD) services, including Amazon, Vudu, FandangoNow, Microsoft, Google Play, and Apple TV. The movie costs $20 to own, and it’s offered in up to 4K Ultra HD quality. A rental option is not currently available. You can access your digital copy via the VOD service you select on various media players and smart TVs.

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If you want to purchase a disc copy of the film, the “Wonder Woman 1984” Blu-ray ($22) and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray ($28) were released on March 30.

Does ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ support 4K, HDR, and Dolby Atmos?

“Wonder Woman 1984” was the first movie on HBO Max to stream in 4K with support for high dynamic range (HDR). The film is available in HDR10, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos on supported devices, matching the maximum quality typically seen on Netflix and Disney Plus.

The VOD version also offers Dolby Vision, HDR10, and Dolby Atmos playback though streaming services that support those features, including Vudu and Apple TV.

What other Warner Bros. movies are coming to HBO Max?

The next scheduled Warner Bros. release on HBO Max is “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It,” the third entry in the popular horror franchise. Other major releases set to arrive on the streaming service throughout 2021 include “The Matrix 4,” “The Suicide Squad,” “Space Jam” and more.

HBO Max subscribers can currently stream “Those Who Wish Me Dead.”

You can see a full list of upcoming Warner Bros. movies scheduled for day-and-date releases in theaters and on HBO Max here.

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Amazon reportedly negotiating deal to acquire MGM for around $9 billion

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) logo seen displayed on a smartphone
In this photo illustration the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) logo seen displayed on a smartphone.

Amazon has been in negotiations to acquire MGM for about $9 billion, Variety reported Monday.

The tech giant has reportedly been negotiating a deal for “weeks,” industry sources told the news outlet. The Information first reported on Monday that Amazon was in talks for a potential deal that could run between $7 billion and $10 billion.

“The deal is said to be being orchestrated by Mike Hopkins, senior VP of Amazon Studios and Prime Video, directly with MGM board chairman Kevin Ulrich, whose Anchorage Capital is a major MGM shareholder,” according to the Variety report.

The potential sale of MGM to Amazon could signal the tech company’s move to expand its Amazon Prime streaming inventory to include MGM’s extensive array of content, which include the James Bond, Hobbit, and Pink Panther franchises.

Last month, the company’s streaming service surpassed 200 million Prime members worldwide – 175 million of which streamed Prime Video content in the last year, according to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

MGM Holdings has been exploring a sale since December of last year, Variety reported. At the time that it was considering a sale, the company had a market value of $5.5 billion.

Other companies have also been in the running to acquire MGM, including ViacomCBS and Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Representatives from Amazon and MGM did not respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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‘Promising Young Woman’ is nominated for 5 Academy Awards – here’s how to watch the thriller at home

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promising young woman
Carey Mulligan in “Promising Young Woman.”

Young Woman (small)

Promising Young Woman” is now streaming through a variety of digital services. The thriller is the directorial debut of Emerald Fennell, whose previous writing credits include several episodes of “Killing Eve.”

The film tells the story of Cassandra Thomas (Carey Mulligan), a young woman who seizes the opportunity to take revenge on a group of men responsible for a traumatic event in her past. Fennell’s smart script and direction infuse the thriller with elements of dark comedy. The movie also stars comedian Bo Burnham as Mulligan’s love interest, along with Laverne Cox (“Orange is the New Black”), Clancy Brown (“Highlander”), and Alison Brie (“GLOW”).

The film received five 2021 Oscar nominations, including best picture, best directing (Fennell), best actress in a leading role (Mulligan), best original screenplay, and best film editing. “Promising Young Woman” was also nominated – but lost – in four categories at this year’s Golden Globes. Fennell was among two other female filmmakers nominated for best director. It was the most nominations for female directors in the show’s history.

The movie has received positive reviews from critics, and currently holds a 90% “Certified Fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes. If you want to see what has critics and audiences talking, you can now watch the film at home.

How to watch ‘Promising Young Woman’

Promising Young Woman” premiered on streaming services on January 15. The movie is currently only available to buy, but a rental option will return on March 16.

You can buy “Promising Young Woman” for $20 on a number of video-on-demand (VOD) platforms, including Amazon Prime Video, Vudu, FandangoNow, RedBox, Apple TV, Google Play, and Microsoft.

The movie is available in a number of formats, including 4K Ultra HD with HDR, high definition (HD), or standard definition (SD). Once the rental option is added back, most platforms will allow you to rent the film for a 30-day period but, after you start the movie, you only have 48 hours to watch it.

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Digital rental services are available on a variety of media devices and smart TVs. You can find more information about how to rent movies online here.

For people who prefer DVD and Blu-ray releases, “Promising Young Woman” will be available to buy on disc starting March 16. You can preorder the Blu-ray for $25 on Amazon, which is just $5 more than the cost to buy the streaming copy.

What other Oscar-nominated films can I watch?

Aside from “Promising Young Woman,” a number of other Oscar-nominated movies are available to watch at home through VOD providers and streaming services. This includes best picture nominees “The Trial of the Chicago 7” and “Mank,” which are both available exclusively on Netflix.

Nomadland,” another nominee for best picture, follows a woman leaving her small town behind to travel across America in search of a new life. It was released on Hulu on February 19, the same day the movie premiered in theaters.

There are several ways you can watch Hulu, but our recommendation is to take advantage of the $13 per month bundle that includes ESPN+ and Disney Plus. The bundle will also give you access to other Oscar-nominated films, like “Onward” and “Soul” on Disney Plus.

Meanwhile, if you want to watch the music-centric film “Sound of Metal,” another nominee for best picture, you can stream it exclusively through Prime Video. The streaming service alone costs $9 a month, but it can be paired with Amazon Prime for $13 a month or $119 a year.

Other best picture nominees “The Father” and “Minari” are – or will soon be – available through VOD platforms. “Minari,” a drama following a Korean American family’s new life in the US, is currently available to rent for $20 via platforms like Vudu and Prime Video. “The Father,” on the other hand, will be available to purchase starting March 26.

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How to watch ‘Coming 2 America,’ the Amazon-exclusive sequel to the iconic Black comedy starring Eddie Murphy

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A still from "Coming 2 America"
Arsenio Hall and Eddie Murphy as Semmi and Akeem in “Coming 2 America.”

  • Coming 2 America,” a sequel to the 1988 comedy, will premiere on Amazon Prime Video on March 5.
  • Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall reprise their roles from the original film.
  • The movie is exclusive to Prime Video, which is included with an Amazon Prime membership.

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Coming 2 America” will continue the story of Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall’s classic 1988 comedy when it debuts on Amazon Prime Video on March 5. 

The movie features a star-studded cast of Black actors with new characters played by Wesley Snipes, Tracy Morgan, and Leslie Jones joining familiar faces, like James Earl Jones, John Amos, and Shari Headley.

In “Coming 2 America,” Akeem Joffer (Eddie Murphy), the king of the African nation of Zamunda, returns to New York City to find his estranged adult son and raise him as an heir. Just like in the original, Murphy and Hall will play multiple characters.

The original ” Coming to America” isn’t one of Murphy’s most celebrated comedies among critics, but it’s well remembered for its predominantly Black cast, which included one of Samuel L. Jackson’s first film appearances. The movie was one of the highest box office earners of 1988, earning more than $350 million.

Coming 2 America” was originally planned for a theatrical release in December 2020, but Prime Video purchased the distribution rights to make it a streaming exclusive.

How to watch ‘Coming 2 America’

Coming 2 America” will debut on Amazon Prime Video on March 5. New Prime Video shows and movies usually start streaming at midnight GMT on release day, which would be 7 p.m. ET on March 4 for “Coming 2 America.” 

The original “Coming to America” is also available for Prime Video subscribers to stream.

Prime Video is included with the standard Amazon Prime subscription for $13 a month or $119 per year, but you can also subscribe to just Prime Video for $9 a month. New Amazon Prime subscribers get a free 30-day trial, so you can watch “Coming 2 America” and then cancel the service if you don’t want to keep it.

You can find the Prime Video app on Roku, Fire TV, iOS, Android, Xbox, PlayStation, and most smart TVs. Prime Video supports up to 4K resolution with HDR for select titles, though it’s not clear if “Coming 2 America” will support those features.

Prime Monthly Subscription (small)Prime Video Monthly Subscription (small)

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The top 9 streaming shows on Netflix, Disney Plus, and more this week

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“WandaVision”

“WandaVision” is the most in-demand overall TV show in the world, according to Parrot Analytics, after a much-talked about fifth episode last week. It was 111.2 times more in-demand than the average series globally as of February 7. 

But “WandaVision” is still trailing Netflix’s “Cobra Kai” and Disney Plus’ other hit show “The Mandalorian” in audience demand in the US. 

Every week, Parrot Analytics provides Insider with a list of the nine most in-demand TV shows on streaming services in the US.

The data is based on “demand expressions,” Parrot Analytics’ globally standardized TV-demand measurement unit. Audience demand reflects the desire, engagement, and viewership weighted by importance. The list is ranked by how much more in demand the top series are than the average TV show in the US.

Below are this week’s nine most popular original shows on Netflix and other streaming services:

9. “Lucifer” (Netflix)

lucifer netflix

Times more in demand than average show: 29.6

Description: “Bored with being the Lord of Hell, the devil relocates to Los Angeles, where he opens a nightclub and forms a connection with a homicide detective.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score (Season 5): 81%

What critics said: “This season, really, is a love letter to the fans who kept the show alive and threw down over the possibility of it ending too soon. The Devil is back, baby, and he’s gonna use that mojo on you.” — Uproxx (Season 5)

Season 5 premiered on Netflix on August 21. See more insights for “Lucifer.”

8. “The Crown” (Netflix)

the crown
Fennell is an actress, director, and showrunner.

Times more in demand than average show: 31.5

Description: “This drama follows the political rivalries and romance of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign and the events that shaped the second half of the 20th century.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score (Season 4): 97%

What critics said: “Colman remains a delight, and I could watch her read a phone book” — BuzzFeed (season 4)

Season four premiered on November 15 on Netflix. See more insights for “The Crown.”

7. “Titans” (HBO Max)

titans
“Titans” season 2

Times more in demand than average show: 31.7

Description: “‘Titans’ follows young heroes from across the DC Universe as they come of age and find belonging in a gritty take on the classic Teen Titans franchise. Dick Grayson and Rachel Roth, a special young girl possessed by a strange darkness, get embroiled in a conspiracy that could bring Hell on Earth. Joining them along the way are the hot-headed Starfire and lovable Beast Boy. Together they become a surrogate family and team of heroes.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score (Season 2): 81%

What critics said: “This hard-hitting drama provided much of the talented cast with some juicy material, while also allowing the show to continue to go from strength-to-strength.” — WhatCulture (Season 2)

Season 2 premiered on DC Universe in September, 2019. See more insights for “Titans.

6. “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” (Disney Plus)

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Times more in demand than average show: 35.8

Description: “From Dave Filoni, director and executive producer of ‘The Mandalorian,’ the new ‘Clone Wars’ episodes will continue the storylines introduced in the original series, exploring the events leading up to ‘Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.'”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score (Season 7): 100%

What critics said: “This season will also serve as a gauge to see whether audiences want more of the ‘Star Wars’ saga told in animated form. If it comes even close to the quality of ‘The Clone Wars,’ the answer will undoubtedly be yes.” — JoBlo’s Movie Network (season 7)

Season 7 premiered on February 21 on Disney Plus. See more insights for “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.”

5. “The Expanse” (Amazon Prime Video)

The Expanse

Times more in demand than average show: 39.0

Description: “In different parts of the Solar System, the crew of the Rocinante and their allies confront the sins of their past, while Marco Inaros unleashes an attack that will alter the future of Earth, Mars, the Belt, and the worlds beyond the Ring.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score (Season 5): 100%

What critics said: “I was concerned that Season 5 would feel rushed as the writers race towards to finish line. Thankfully, at least in this first batch of episodes, the pacing is excellent, with no signs of hastiness to worry about.” — IGN (Season 5)

Season 5 premiered on Prime Video on December 16. See more insights for “The Expanse.”

4. “Stranger Things” (Netflix)

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“Stranger Things.”

Times more in demand than average show: 49.4

Description: “When a young boy vanishes, a small town uncovers a mystery involving secret experiments.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score (Season 3): 89%

What critics said: “Season 3 balances good-natured laughs with charming nostalgia through likable characters doing battle against looming horrors. Yet it feels like it’s propping up its past to justify its present.” — Observer (Season 3)

Season 3 premiered July 4, 2019, on Netflix. See more insights for “Stranger Things.”

3. “WandaVision” (Disney Plus)

wandavision
“WandaVision”

Times more in demand than average show: 58.9

Description: “Marvel Studios’ captivating new series ‘WandaVision’ stars Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, and marks the first series from Marvel Studios streaming exclusively on Disney+. The series is a blend of classic television and the Marvel Cinematic Universe in which Wanda Maximoff and Vision — two super-powered beings living idealized suburban lives — begin to suspect that everything is not as it seems.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score (Season 1): 93%

What critics said: “She’s not the first superhero to be affected acutely by emotional pain; everyone knows that quote about great power and great responsibility. Yet for an MCU project, the choice to focus on Wanda’s inner life is revolutionary.” — The Atlantic (Season 1)

Season 1 premiered on Disney Plus January 15. See more insights for “WandaVision.”

2. “The Mandalorian” (Disney Plus)

Baby Yoda reaching for Din The Child Mandalorian Disney Plus
The Child in “Chapter 10” of “The Mandalorian.”

Times more in demand than average show: 62.3

Description: “After the fall of the Empire, a lone gunfighter makes his way through the lawless galaxy.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score (Season 2): 94%

What critics said: “It’s no small feat to create a character who is well-rounded and sympathetic, while mostly hidden behind an expressionless mask. But all the credit goes to Pascal for imbuing the man, also known as Din Djarin, with layers of ever-present depth.” — San Francisco Chronicle (Season 2)

Season 2 premiered on Disney Plus on October 30. See more insights for “The Mandalorian.”

1. “Cobra Kai” (Netflix)

shue cobra kai netflix

Times more in demand than average show: 62.8

Description: “Decades after the tournament that changed their lives, the rivalry between Johnny and Daniel reignites in this sequel to the ‘Karate Kid’ films.”

Rotten Tomatoes critic score (Season 3): 89%

What critics said: “Even with its flaws in season three, ‘Cobra Kai’ hasn’t just honored the ‘Karate Kid’ way of storytelling, but mastered it.” — RogerEbert.com (season 3)

Season 3 premiered on January 1 on Netflix. See more insights for “Cobra Kai.”

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How to use Amazon Watch Party to stream Prime Video movies and shows remotely with friends and family

Watching movies and tv on computer
Amazon Watch Party is comparable to Hulu’s Watch Party or the Teleparty extension.

  • Amazon Watch Party allows you to watch and chat about your favorite shows and movies simultaneously with friends and family remotely.
  • Up to 100 people can watch entertainment and chat simultaneously, but they need to have an Amazon Prime membership to use the feature. 
  • Watch Party is currently still in beta and only available in select countries. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Finding ways to enjoy fun activities with our loved ones from a distance is more important than ever. Following the swell of interest in Netflix Watch Party – now Teleparty – other streaming platforms began releasing their own remote watch tools to help friends and family enjoy their favorite shows and movies while miles apart. 

That includes Prime Video’s Amazon Watch Party, a more recent introduction from the streaming platform behind hits like “The Expanse,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Fleabag,” and “The Boys.” It allows up to 100 people to enjoy their favorite TV show or movie together, watching and chatting simultaneously from wherever they are. 

You’ll need an Amazon Prime account to start a Watch Party, and you’ll be limited to streaming titles only from Amazon’s Prime Video library. Luckily, that’s more than 15,000 movies and TV shows to choose from, so there should be something for everyone. 

You can host an Amazon Watch Party on all desktop browsers except for Safari and Internet Explorer. At the current time, the feature is not available on mobile devices. It is also currently in beta, meaning you may notice some errors or other issues while using it, even on the devices it’s compatible with. 

If you’re interested in starting an Amazon Watch Party, it’s easy – here’s how to do it. 

How to use Amazon Watch Party on Prime Video

1. Log into your Amazon account. 

2. Go to Amazon’s Prime Video section and search for any title available in the streamer’s library. 

3. In the media options, click “Watch Party” to launch the feature.

Amazon Watch Party 1
Look for the “Watch Party” button to begin.

4. Enter the name you want to use for the chat. This could be your actual name or a screen name of your choice. 

Amazon Watch Party 2
You’ll need to identify yourself before you can begin watching.

5. Once your name is entered, click “Create Watch Party.”

6. To begin inviting friends, share the customized link that appears to the video’s right by copy and pasting it into an email, instant messaging app, or your preferred method of communication. 

7. If you prefer, you can also choose to Share directly using Facebook, Twitter, or email. 

Amazon Watch Party 3
Share the link with your fellow watchers to start streaming together.

Related coverage from Tech Reference:

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