Since Disney+ first launched in November, right around the theatrical release of Frozen 2, there has been one question on nearly every parent’s (and animation fan’s) mind: when will Frozen 2 be available on Disney+? While the usual theatrical to streaming release window is about six months, The Walt Disney Company has opted to release Frozen 2 on Disney+ about two months earlier than expected, on Sunday March 15.
“Frozen 2 has captivated audiences around the world through its powerful themes of perseverance and the importance of family, messages that are incredibly relevant during this time, and we are pleased to be able to share this heartwarming story early with our Disney+ subscribers to enjoy at home on any device,” said Bob Chapek, Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company in a statement.
While Disney’s press release says that the early release of Frozen 2 on Disney+ is an attempt to give “families with some fun and joy during this challenging period,” which is certainly admirable and probably true, it also makes sense from a business and societal standpoint. Giving folks an excuse to stay in to help slow the global coronavirus pandemic is a good idea. But so is Disney giving more people an excuse to sign up for the Disney+ streaming service in the first place, as they’re going to have to replace lost box office revenue for major upcoming theatrical releases like Mulan, The New Mutants, and Antlers, all of which were pulled from the schedule earlier this week in response to coronavirus converns. Production has temporarily been halted on films in development, including The Little Mermaid and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, so it’s possible that their box office dollars could be disrupted into 2021, both as their production schedules get back on track and new release windows are found for the movies being moved around the calendar.
Disney+ launched in the United States and Canada in November, with a large library of live action and animated feature and TV content, spanning classics, modern films, and new originals. Original programming slated for later this year and early 2021 includes Marvel’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, WandaVision, and Loki, as well as the eagerly anticipated The Mandalorian Season 2. Additionally, Disney+ will launch in the UK on March 24 with a similarly comprehensive library of titles.