‘Onward’ gets early digital release, ‘Trolls’ to follow

First “Frozen 2,” now “Onward.”

Disney gave early digital release of yet another title amid the coronavirus outbreak. Pixar’s “Onward,” featuring the voices of Tom Holland and Chris Pratt, is now available for digital download in the United States before landing April 3 on Disney+.

The surprise comes less than a month after the highly anticipated film hit theaters March 6. Due to widespread public health concerns and cinema closures, the pandemic has heavily disrupted the openings of “Onward” and many other projects.

The Pixar film debuted earlier this month at the low end of analyst projections, but still topped the box office at $40 million. By its second week, ticket sales for “Onward” plummeted 73% to $10.5 million.

Earlier this month, Disney expedited the digital launch of another major animated title, “Frozen 2,” to give families something to share in self-quarantine — and an incentive to subscribe to its streaming platform if they hadn’t already.

This image released by Disney shows Elsa, voiced by Idina Menzel, from left, Anna, voiced by Kristen Bell, Kristoff, voiced by Jonathan Groff and Sven in a scene from the animated film, “Frozen 2.” (Disney via AP)

Another company rapidly accelerating home video releases is Universal, which made recent theatrical entries “The Hunt,” “Emma” and “The Invisible Man” available for digital rental Friday. “Trolls World Tour,” originally slated to hit theaters April 10, will instead launch digitally on the same day.

Anya Taylor-Joy stars as “Emma Woodhouse” in director Autumn de Wilde’s EMMA., a Focus Features release. Credit : Focus Features

Whether households will be willing to pay a whopping $19 each to rent Universal’s early-bird arrivals for 48 hours has yet to be determined. That price, while high, is still significantly cheaper than a family trip to the cinema.

In recent weeks, studios have been forced to postpone the theatrical releases of several films, including “Mulan,” “Black Widow,” “A Quiet Place Part II,” “No Time to Die,” “F9” and many more.
Additionally, production has been halted on a slew of forthcoming big-screen projects, from Paramount’s latest “Mission: Impossible” installment to DC’s “The Batman,” starring Robert Pattinson, out of concern for cast and crew.

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