The Mouse might have had a rocky start with its foray into the streaming world, but bringing Frozen 2 to Disney+ early amid a national health emergency that has tons of people across the country cooped up inside is one hell of a power move.
In a press release Friday, Disney announced that as a happy surprise “during this challenging period,” U.S. audiences will be able to stream the ridiculously popular sequel beginning Sunday, a full three months ahead of its initial planned release date. It’ll roll out to international subscribers, including in Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, and New Zealand, on Tuesday, March 17.
“Frozen 2 has captivated audiences around the world through its powerful themes of perseverance and the importance of family, messages that are incredibly relevant during this time,” wrote Bob Chapek, Disney’s new CEO.
With the novel coronavirus pandemic putting an increasing number of schools on lockdown and more and more companies directing employees to work from home, it’s a bit of a perfect storm for streaming services like Netflix and Hulu (another Disney property) to see a bump in viewership. And it seems Disney’s snapping up the chance to bolster subscribers by banking on a universal truth: Kids go crazy for Frozen.
Case in point: This sequel grossed $US1.4 ($2) billion globally and set a record for being the highest-grossing animated film of all time. Its early release will also likely cushion some of the financial fallout from Disney’s delay of blockbusters like Mulan and New Mutants as a cautionary response to the virus’ spread.
My sympathies in advance to parents everywhere who are about to hear their children squawk “Into the Unknown” on loop for the next few weeks.