Disney announced it would release its current Pixar film, Onward, to online platforms early due to movie theaters across the globe closing amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Onward has been in theaters since March 6, but Disney made it available to purchase via on-demand digital platforms starting today for $20. The film will be available to Disney+ subscribers beginning April 3.
“While we’re looking forward to audiences enjoying our films on the big screen again soon, given the current circumstances, we are pleased to release this fun, adventurous film to digital platforms early for audiences to enjoy from the comfort of their homes,” director Dan Scanlon and producer Kori Rae said in a joint statement.
As the film industry tries to determine how to navigate the coronavirus outbreak, many movies have pushed back their release dates. Disney postponed indefinitely the release of the much anticipated Marvel film Black Widow, which was set to debut on May 1. Disney also delayed the release of its live-action remake of Mulan, which was set supposed to be released on March 27.
Digital Trends reached out to Disney to find out if upcoming films like Black Widow and Mulan would follow the trend of being available on digital platforms and Disney+. We will update this story when we hear back.
Disney’s decision with Onward comes just days after Universal Pictures announced it would release some of its current films to Xfinity On Demand so people can watch them in the comfort of their own homes. Universal films include The Invisible Man, The Hunt, and Emma.
Like most other industries right now, the movie industry has taken a big hit because of the coronavirus outbreak. Global box offices could take a $20 billion hits because of COVID-19, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The two biggest theater chains in North America, AMC Theatres and Regal Cinemas, announced on Tuesday that they would close down all of their locations to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Not only is movie theater attendance slowing down, but the production of future blockbusters is also screeching to a halt. Big-name movies such as Jurassic World: Dominion, the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid, Fantastic Beasts 3, and more paused their production.
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