Tina Fey and Jamie Foxx voice characters in Disney Pixar’s “Soul.”
Disney’s “Soul” will no longer debut in theaters. The new Pixar animated feature will instead arrive on the company’s streaming service Disney+ on December 25.
“We are thrilled to share Pixar’s spectacular and moving ‘Soul’ with audiences direct to Disney+ in December,” said Bob Chapek, CEO of 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 move comes as Cineworld, which owns Regal Cinemas, has closed more than 500 theaters in the U.S. . That loss has forced Disney and other studios to rethink their distribution strategies.
Unlike Disney’s “Mulan,” which skipped theaters to go to Disney+ in September, it appears that “Soul” will be free as part of the traditional streaming on-demand service.
The movement of “Soul” from the calendar is yet another blow to movie theaters. Major cinemas have struggled since reopening in August as attendance has been low and a number of Hollywood blockbusters have postponed into next year.
The delay of “Wonder Woman 1984,” “Black Widow,” “No Time to Die” and more have left a gaping hole in the theatrical calendar. And there are fears that even more films could be pushed in the coming weeks.