Given the fears around spreading the novel coronavirus, it’s not exactly a surprise that people aren’t rushing to movie theaters right now. As a result, production studios have had to get creative to adapt to the self-quarantining that many people have elected to participate in. One of the biggest, Disney, just announced that Onward, which was released in theaters this month, will hit Disney Plus on April 3, according to Entertainment Weekly.
The Pixar movie will also be available to purchase on video on demand beginning Friday at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET. It will be available on Movies Anywhere, and will cost $19.99.
“While we’re looking forward to audiences enjoying our films on the big screen again soon, given the current circumstances, we are pleased to release this fun, adventurous film to digital platforms early for audiences to enjoy from the comfort of their homes,” director Dan Scanlon and producer Kori Rae said in a joint statement.
Onward hit theaters just two weeks ago, on March 6. Since its release, though, many theaters have shut down in response to the virus, or because they were mandated to by state governments. The movie earned $68 million worldwide in its opening weekend, and $40 million at the domestic box office. The opening marked an all-time low for Pixar as a studio, Entertainment Weekly reported.
Onward stars Chris Pratt and Tom Holland as brothers living in a fantasy world where magic has all but disappeared, as fantastical creatures like elves embrace the convenience of technology. On his 16th birthday, Ian, voiced by Holland, receives a gift from his deceased father that allows Ian to bring him back for 24 hours. When the spell malfunctions, Ian and his older brother, voiced by Pratt, are forced to go on a mystical quest to finish the spell and reunite with their father.
The decision to push Onward to VOD and Disney Plus way ahead of schedule is just the latest move Disney has made in response to the coronavirus. The studio announced last week that Frozen 2 would debut on Disney Plus months ahead of schedule, and it also announced an earlier VOD plan for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Like virtually every other studio, Disney has also delayed the releases of many of its high-profile films, including Mulan and Black Widow, and it’s also halted production on many upcoming projects, including Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, The Little Mermaid and Shrunk.