Parents, celebrate! Onward hits iTunes early as theaters go dark

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With most movie theaters closed, The Walt Disney Company is moving Onward online earlier than expected.
With most movie theaters closed, The Walt Disney Company is moving Onward online earlier than expected.
Photo: Disney/Pixar

With U.S. cinema chains like AMC, Cinemark, Landmark, Alamo Drafthouse and Cineplex Odeon closed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Walt Disney Company moved up the online release of Pixar animated film Onward two weeks.

“While we’re looking forward to audiences enjoying our films on the big screen again soon, given the current circumstances, we are pleased to release this fun, adventurous film to digital platforms early for audiences to enjoy from the comfort of their homes,” director Dan Scanlon and producer Kori Rae said in a statement released by Disney.

Onward follows two elf brothers who set out on a magical quest to find a spell that will bring back their late father. The movie is now available for purchase from services such as iTunes, Movies Anywhere and Amazon for $19.99. It will debut on Apple TV+ competitor Disney+ on April 3.

The film premiered on March 6 in theaters and received high praise from audiences and critics, earning a 95% Verified Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes. During an abbreviated run, Onward only managed about $61 million at the domestic box office.

Onward is not the first movie that moved to streaming services early amid the COVID-19 crisis. The Hunt, The Invisible Man and Emma from Columbia Pictures are now available online, each $19.99.

DreamWorks Animation’s upcoming Trolls World Tour will hit digital-renting platforms, including iTunes, on April 10, the same day it is due to hit theaters.