Pixar’s ‘Onward’ is coming early to Disney+ after coronavirus disrupted its release


First “Frozen 2,” now “Onward.”

Disney has announced the early digital release of yet another title amid the coronavirus outbreak. Pixar’s “Onward,” featuring the voices of Tom Holland and Chris Pratt, will be available for digital download in the United States on Friday night before landing April 3 on Disney+.

The surprise comes a couple of weeks after the highly anticipated film hit theaters on March 6. Due to widespread public health concerns and cinema closures, the pandemic has heavily disrupted the openings of “Onward” and many other projects.

The Pixar film debuted at the low end of analyst projections, but still topped the weekend box office at $40 million. By its second week, ticket sales for “Onward” plummeted 73% to $10.5 million.


Earlier this month, Disney expedited the digital launch of another major animated title, “Frozen 2,” to give families something to share in self-quarantine — and an incentive to subscribe to its streaming platform if they hadn’t already.

Another company rapidly accelerating home video releases is Universal, which vowed to make recent theatrical entries “The Hunt,” “Emma” and “The Invisible Man” available for digital rental on Friday. “Trolls World Tour,” originally slated to hit theaters April 10, will instead launch digitally on the same day.

Whether households will be willing to pay a whopping $19.99 each to rent Universal’s early-bird arrivals for 48 hours is yet to be seen. That price, while high, is still significantly cheaper than a family trip to the cinema.

As movie theaters shut down and studios delay major releases, studios may turn to more digital releases.

March 17, 2020

In recent weeks, studios have been forced to postpone theatrical releases of several films, including “Mulan,” “Black Widow,” “A Quiet Place Part II,” “No Time to Die” and “F9.”

Additionally, production has been halted on a slew of forthcoming big-screen projects, from Paramount’s latest “Mission: Impossible” installment to DC’s “The Batman,” starring Robert Pattinson, out of concern for cast and crew.