Soul Soul

The Walt Disney Company has cancelled the U.S. theatrical release of Pixar’s Soul, the Pete Docter-directed movie that had been scheduled for release on November 20. The film had originally been slotted to release on June 19, but was pushed back to November because of the pandemic.

The silver lining: Soul will now be released December 25 on Disney+. Unlike Disney’s release of Mulan on Disney+, which required an additional payment of $29.99, Soul will be made available to the streaming service’s subscribers at no extra cost.

Even if Soul were to receive a U.S. theatrical release, its prospects for widespread distribution are discouraging. In the past week, Regal Cinemas, the second-largest movie chain in the United States, announced that it would close all but a handful of its cinemas for an unspecific period of time. Most studio releases in the U.S. have now been delayed until 2021 or beyond, and the exhibition market is so bleak that top filmmakers are urging Congress to direct funds to struggling theater operators.

Soul’s theatrical departure leaves Universal-Dreamworks Animation’s The Croods: A New Age as the only studio release still scheduled for the Thanksgiving holiday period. Universal had moved up the date of The Croods sequel with the expectation that Disney would vacate the November release of Soul, which is exactly how the situation played out.

Disney still intends to release Soul theatrically in markets where Disney+ isn’t available, though it has not yet decided on release dates.

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