Disney Speeds Up Home-Video Sales of New Pixar Film ‘Onward’
(Bloomberg) -- Walt Disney Co. is putting its newest Pixar film, “Onward,” online for home sales and streaming months ahead of what would be a normal schedule, in the latest sign of how Hollywood is trying to cope with the coronavirus crisis.
The picture will be available for digital purchase Friday evening at a cost of $20 and will appear on the company’s new Disney+ streaming platform April 3. That service costs $7 a month.
“Onward” was released in theaters on March 6, just as the coronavirus was starting to spread in the U.S. Although it scored generally strong critical and audience reviews, its box-office receipts came in below forecast, giving it the third-worst opening weekend for a Pixar film. Movies typically have a three-month window when they appear exclusively in theaters, but the virus is upending that tradition.
“While we’re looking forward to audience enjoying our films on the big screen again soon, given the circumstances, we are pleased to release this fun, adventurous film to digital platforms early for audiences to enjoy from the comfort of their homes,” the picture’s director, Dan Scanlon, and producer, Kori Rae, said in a statement.
With theaters now effectively shut down across the U.S., studios must decide what to do with their scheduled releases. Many films have been delayed or given a faster online release. Comcast Corp.’s Universal Studios said this week it would make some of its movies available to rent online for $20, simultaneous with their theatrical release.
Given the state of the industry, Disney said Thursday it wouldn’t release weekend box-office grosses.
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