- “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” is hitting Disney Plus two months early on May 4 (“Star Wars” Day).
- Disney has also made “Frozen II” and “Onward” available to stream early, and “Artemis Fowl” will skip theaters and head straight to Disney Plus later this year.
- The coronavirus pandemic has shifted Disney’s initial plan of leaving a seven-month theatrical window between theaters and streaming, but it still seems committed to the theatrical experience and has already dated many of its upcoming major releases.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” will be streaming earlier than expected.
Disney announced on Monday that the final chapter in the long-running Skywalker Saga will hit Disney Plus on May 4 (“Star Wars” Day), two months before its planned release. The movie hit theaters in late December.
Disney had originally intended a seven-month window between theaters and streaming, but the coronavirus pandemic shifted those plans. Disney also released “Frozen II” to Disney Plus early, as well as the new Pixar movie “Onward,” which had a short theatrical run last month before most theaters in the US closed because of the coronavirus.
Disney is also releasing “Artemis Fowl” straight to Disney Plus. The movie was originally scheduled to hit theaters in May. Boxoffice Pro chief analyst Shawn Robbins told Business Insider that it was a lower risk for Disney to skip theaters in “Artemis Fowl’s” case.
“Eventually, the theatrical calendar will fill up and even in normal times, there were going to be some movies that didn’t pan out to be big hits,” Robbins said. “‘Artemis Fowl’ is one of them.”
But Disney still seems committed to the theatrical experience and has already scheduled new release dates for most of its upcoming major releases such as “Mulan” and “Black Widow.” Bob Iger, the former Disney CEO and now executive chairman, recently told Barrons that a few more movies might go straight to the streaming service, but “for the most part a lot of the big tentpole Disney films, we’ll simply wait for slots.”
Real Life. Real News. Real Voices
Help us tell more of the stories that matterBecome a founding member
The first episode of the behind-the-scenes docuseries “Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian” and the series finale of the animated “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” also hit Disney Plus on May 4.
Subscribe to the newsletter news
We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe