Disney and Pixar’s Onward was already on course to become one of, if not the lowest-grossing movie in the animation powerhouse’s history after a disappointing opening weekend at the domestic box office. Of course, the growing Coronavirus pandemic hasn’t exactly helped matters, with theaters across the planet lying virtually empty, and so far the family flick has only managed to earn a little over $100 million globally. And it isn’t like those numbers are going to get much higher anytime soon.
In an effort to keep the fans happy while they self-isolate, many recent movies are being made available on home video much earlier than expected, including Vin Diesel’s Bloodshot, which will have only had a two week theatrical run before it can be downloaded next week. Disney have already brought the Disney Plus debut of Frozen II forward as well, and now the Mouse House has announced that Onward will be available as of 8pm EST tonight.
“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,” said the studio.
Onward won’t be streaming on Disney Plus for another two weeks, but unlike the other early releases which are rental only, the fantasy adventure can be purchased and owned outright. With the Coronavirus causing huge damage to all walks of life, these kind of gestures from the monolithic corporate overlords at Disney are no doubt what will keep fans onside when it comes time to head back to the movies in huge numbers.
It also helps the studio recoup some of Onward’s losses, something they’ll have a very keen eye on given the reported millions in revenue that the Walt Disney Company is losing out on weekly. With a budget reported to be between $175-$200 million even before marketing, Onward is still going to end up in the red, but at least families that didn’t get the chance to check it out on the big screen can now do so while safely at home.