- Due to limits from the coronavirus, the film will only play in cinemas in areas where the streaming service is not available
- Unlike the live-action ‘Mulan’, the movie will be available for no extra payment beyond the monthly subscription fee
Pixar animated movie Soul which had been set to hit cinemas in November, will instead debut on the Disney+ streaming service on Christmas Day.
Soul will play in cinemas only in markets where Disney+ is not currently available, or will not be soon, like Hong Kong, the company said in a statement.
Disney is testing new ways to release first-run movies while the coronavirus pandemic limits attendance at cinemas, particularly in the United States. The company is trying to attract more customers to Disney+, which has signed up more than 60 million subscribers worldwide.
“Over the last six months, marketplace conditions created by the ongoing pandemic, while difficult in so many ways, have also provided an opportunity for innovation in approaches to content distribution,” Disney said in a statement.
In September, Disney’s action epic Mulan skipped cinemas and went straight to Disney+. In that case, the company charged Disney+ subscribers an extra US$30 to watch Mulan.
Soul, which tells the story of a music teacher whose soul gets separated from his body, will be available to Disney+ customers starting on December 25 without an extra payment beyond the monthly subscription price.