While Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is the next MCU film set to stream on Disney+, it’s not likely to arrive on the platform when some fans were hoping.
Black Panther 2 has become the MCU’s latest hit theatrical blockbuster, marking the franchise’s 30th movie in theaters while being the seventh and final movie in Marvel Studios’ Phase 4 slate. And now, with Disney having brought every new piece of MCU content to its exclusive streaming service since Phase 4 started, fans are eagerly anticipating the day that the sequel will join nearly every other MCU movie and streaming show from the past 14 years.
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. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings came in with the longest timeframe at 70 days between the two releases, leaving Black Panther 2 in a strange place as the new year approaches.
Now, a report hinted that the latest MCU movie may be further away from coming to Disney+ than many expected.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever won’t begin streaming on Disney+ until sometime in 2023, according to Deadline. Some had optimistically predicted that Wakanda Forever could begin streaming during the holiday season (before or after Christmas Day in 2022) given the timing after its theatrical debut and considering how many families would be eager to watch it at home while celebrating together.
The outlet noted that the MCU sequel will stay in theaters for “a bare minimum of 45 days,” a timespan that would end the day after Christmas:
“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). 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.”
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 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.
Copyright © 2020 The Direct Media Group LLC. All rights reserved.