Late Friday night, Disney said that it would be making Frozen 2 available this Sunday, March 15.
The accelerated release date, a full three months ahead of its planned date, comes as all sorts of release schedules, premieres and even entire new seasons of television shows are canceled or paused as Hollywood crafts its own response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
“‘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 Disney’s new CEO Bob Chapek in a statement.
Disney (along with Fox, which it owns) has pushed back the release of anticipated films like the live action version of “Mulan,” the Marvel superhero movie, “The New Mutants,” and the Guillermo del Toro-produced horror film, “Antlers.”
Pushing up the release date on “Frozen 2” makes sense, given that Disney is now basically a television, streaming and gaming company — much like every other studio struggling to adapt to the need for social distancing is prompting movie theaters to either close or dramatically reduce their capacity. At the same time, there have been reports that Disney has had issues producing original shows and movies for its streaming service.
The company previously pushed up the streaming release date of “Avengers: Endgame” to coincide with the launch of Disney+.
Internationally, the company is making “Frozen 2” available on Disney+ in Canada, the Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand on Tuesday, March 17.
U.S. audiences wanting to watch the movie on Sunday will only be able to stream it in high definition. Ultra HD video playback isn’t going to be available until Tuesday.