Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is now playing in theaters, and while many are waiting for the MCU sequel to arrive on Disney+, a new report indicates that release won’t be coming anytime soon.
Not only does Black Panther 2 mark the return of one of the MCU’s most popular franchise, but it also brings Phase 4 to a close. Throughout this post-Endgame chapter of the MCU, Disney+ has proven to be of great importance as it delivers original television content and serves as the streaming home of MCU movies.
Marvel’s movies have all had varying times between their theatrical and streaming debuts, with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness marking the shortest time between the two aforementioned dates at 47 days and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings the longest at 70 days between the two releases.
This has meant that with every new MCU release, there has been no sense of certainty as to when audiences will be able to relive that experience from home. And while anticipation may be high to enjoy Wakanda Forever once again, especially after the excellent reactions it received, fans may be waiting a while.
A recent report from Deadline on the box office success of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever revealed the MCU sequel will not debut on Disney+ until 2023.
This comes despite hopes from many that Black Panther 2 would be available to enjoy at home in time for the festive season. Not to mention, as the Disney+ releases typically synchronize with the home release, that could have been a popular Christmas gift.
The trade revealed that Wakanda Forever is planned to have a theatrical tenure of at least 45 days before coming to theaters with “no plans… to land on Disney+ at the end of the year:”
“As we mentioned previously, a robust theatrical window is ahead, a bare minimum of 45 days, with no plans for the Ryan Coogler directed and written movie to land on Disney+ at the end of the year (ala Strange World).”
Deadline added that exhibition chains have been informed that Strange World – Disney’s newest theatrical animated offering – will hit the streaming service “in time for the year-end holidays,” although there is no plans for Marvel Studios’ latest to make a similar move:
“While exhibition has received word that Disney’s animated Thanksgiving release Strange World will hit Disney+ in time for the year-end holidays, there’s a robust theatrical window ahead for Wakanda Forever, definitely more than 45 days, I understand, with no plans for a holiday drop on the studio’s OTT service.”
As families gather for the holidays, Disney would logically want a new blockbuster playing on its streaming service for the season, and the only options for this were Black Panther 2 or Strange World.
With the MCU event likely to have a much longer box office life span than the animated flick, it makes sense to save Wakanda Forever for 2023 once its theatrical peak has passed.
However, one region will be waiting even longer as Disney recently revealed that Black Panther 2 won’t be hitting its streaming service in France until Spring 2024 due to the “current windowing framework” in the European region.
With how popular Black Panther 2 has become over its first few days in theaters, it will certainly be a movie fans look forward to enjoying at home when it’s available to watch any time on Disney+. But with this update, the time between its two premiere dates appears to be at least closer to the average time that it’s taken the other movies to move to Disney+.
This decision largely seems due to Disney wanting to get as much potential box office revenue as possible out of Black Panther 2 before fans can stream it or only $8/month. Before the end of the year, the only big box office competition the movie should have is Avatar: The Way of Water, which won’t come to theaters until more than a month after Black Panther 2 initially debuted.
But now, the question is: when exactly Black Panther 2 will hit the streaming service?
At the very high end, a 70-day window, which Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings previously used, would have the movie debuting on Disney+ on January 20, 2023. Disney and Marvel may want to reap in as much box office as possible, particularly with how well the Black Panther sequel is doing financially out of the gate.
January 1, 2023 would mark a 51-day turnaround, which would be on the lower end just like Doctor Strange 2 was. The safest bet would be anywhere between those two dates, as Avatar: The Way of Water‘s release will undoubtedly cut into Wakanda Forever’s theatrical earnings anyway.
And while fans will have to wait longer than expected for its streaming debut, now is the perfect time to enjoy this massive new adventure on the big screen as the world takes in the latest Marvel spectacle.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is now playing in theaters worldwide.
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