Pixar’s “Soul” is skipping theaters and heading straight to Disney+. Disney announced today that it will come directly to the streaming service on December 25th. The film will be released theatrically in markets where Disney+ is unavailable. The film was originally supposed to be released in theaters on November 20th.
Unlike Mulan, the film will be included in your Disney+ subscription and won’t require an additional fee.
“We are thrilled to share Pixar’s spectacular and moving ‘Soul’ with audiences direct to Disney+ in December,” said Bob Chapek, Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “A new original Pixar film is always a special occasion, and this truly heartwarming and humorous story about human connection and finding one’s place in the world will be a treat for families to enjoy together this holiday season.”
“The world can be an exhausting and frustrating place – but it’s also full of unexpected joys, even in seemingly mundane things,” said Docter, director of “Soul” and Chief Creative Officer of Pixar Animation Studios. “ ‘Soul’ investigates what’s really important in our lives, a question we’re all asking these days. I hope it will bring some humor and fun to people at a time when everyone can surely use that.”
“Soul” follows Joe Gardner, a middle school teacher with a love for jazz music. After a successful gig at the Half Note Club, he suddenly gets into an accident that separates his soul from his body and is transported to the You Seminar, a center in which souls develop and gain passions before being transported to a newborn child. Joe must enlist help from the other souls-in-training, like 22, a soul who has spent eons in the You Seminar, in order to get back to Earth.
Disney has previously moved other titles Disney+ including, “Hamilton,” “Artemis Fowl” and “The One and Only Ivan.” It also moved Mulan to Disney+, but as a $30 “Premier Access” release to customers.
Disney said the decision to release Mulan through Premier Access “was really based on the fact that…in the U.S. only 68% of theaters are open. We thought that this was the best way to release Mulan into the public, not only in the U.S., but on a global basis.”
According to an analysis by Samba TV, 1.12 million US households watch the movie over the four-day span, giving a projected $33.5 million domestic opening for Mulan. Samba TV data though is likely underreporting purchases since its focused on Smart TV devices, which users to unlock on another device to stream Premier Access.