It appears that Disney is ending the physical releases of its films.
According to a report from The Digital Bits, Disney will cease its movies’ 4k Ultra HD physical release. All releases will be digital.
“Beyond new release theatrical titles, animated fare from Disney and Pixar, or Star Wars and Marvel-related projects, there were no plans at the studio going forward to release titles on physical 4K Ultra HD—future releases would be 4K Digital only.”
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This new policy also extends beyond Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, and Marvel to include all Touchstone and Fox movies now under the Disney umbrella, such as The Abyss and Alien. The last films scheduled to arrive on physical 4k Ultra HD are Hocus Pocus and Home Alone.
We at Inside the Magic understand that several of our readers are avid collectors of physical movies and will find this news concerning. The Walt Disney Company has not officially announced this plan yet, so this news should be taken with a grain of salt until they do so.
However, it should be mentioned that Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment’s revenue dropped in the third quarter.
Perhaps the guarantee of seeing films appear on Disney+ is eroding fans incentive to buy physical copies. After all, Disney+ is a hub of nearly-unlimited access to the Disney vault for a fraction of what a physical collection could cost a family.
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Disney’s latest live-action feature, Mulan, is also set to test new ground for the company, offering premium early access to the film on Disney+ for $29.99. While Disney CEO Bob Chapek expressed hope that this would be a “one-off,” he has also stated that this is a test to see how successful premium access can be. It will be interesting to see how and if Mulan’s financial results play a part in the future of physical Disney movie releases.
What do you think about this decision? Are you a movie fan that needs to have a physical copy? Does this move to digital surprise you? Let us know in the comments!