Disney embraces theaters for the rest of its 2021 movies

If you were hoping to stream the rest of Disney's 2021 movies on Disney+ the same day they hit theaters, think again. The company has announced that the rest of its 2021 movie lineup will have exclusive theatrical windows before making their way to its streaming service. The change comes amid growing numbers of people heading back out to their local cinemas.

The pandemic shut down movie theaters, sending Hollywood scrambling to figure out a new path forward. With consumers largely staying home, many studios inevitably embraced streaming platforms and digital releases as a temporary way forward through the long months of the pandemic. Disney was one of those companies.

For months now, Disney+ subscribers have been able to pay an extra fee on top of their subscription to stream new Disney theatrical movies the same day they hit theaters. That changes going forward, with Disney saying in a new announcement that the rest of its 2021 movies will have an exclusive theatrical window before arriving on its streaming platform.

With the exception of Encanto, all of Disney's remaining 2021 movies will spend a minimum of 45 days in theaters before arriving on Disney+. This will include The Last Duel arriving next month, Ron's Gone Wrong, Eternals, West Side Story, and The King's Man.

Encanto, meanwhile, will have a 30-day theatrical exclusive window before hitting Disney+ on Christmas Eve, meaning subscribers will be able to watch the movie at home over the holiday break. The reason for this decision, Disney said in a statement, was the "tremendous box office success" it saw with its theatrical movies this past summer.