After Mulan, Disney is sending another major film that was intended for theaters straight to streaming instead.
Disney on Thursday announced that Soul, the latest animated movie from Pixar that was scheduled to be released theatrically this November, will skip U.S. theaters and debut on Disney+ on Dec. 25. The film will still get a theatrical release internationally in markets where Disney+ is not available, Variety reports.
This came after Disney previously debuted its live-action remake of Mulan, which had its planned theatrical release postponed numerous times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, on Disney+ for an additional $30 fee. This was considered a major experiment in releasing big films at home during the pandemic while theaters aren’t reopen everywhere. But Disney won’t be repeating the same Mulan release plan with Soul, as according to The Hollywood Reporter, the film will stream on Disney+ for no extra fee. Disney has not revealed how many Disney+ subscribers watched Mulan.
Soul was originally intended to open in theaters in June, but Disney previously delayed the film to November. After Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, the first major tentpole movie to be released in theaters since the COVID-19 pandemic began, disappointed at the U.S. box office, movie studios have been increasingly delaying films to 2021. The highly-anticipated new James Bond entry No Time to Die was recently postponed to April 2021 from November 2020, and Regal Cinemas, the second-largest theater chain in America, subsequently announced it would once again close all of its U.S. locations. Disney previously delayed major 2020 films like Marvel’s Black Widow to 2021.
With Soul abandoning its theatrical release, the biggest film still scheduled to be released in theaters in 2020 is Wonder Woman 1984, which is slated for Dec. 25. Its director, Patty Jenkins, recently told Reuters that a straight-to-streaming release for the film is not being considered. Jenkins also warned in the interview with Reuters that as a result of the pandemic, “We could lose movie theater-going forever.”