Disney+ Releases Popular New Movie to International Audiences Before U.S.

For movie fans in some international markets, a popular new movie has hit their Disney+ streams before it does in the United States. Ryan Reynold's action-comedy Free Guy opened in theaters less than two months ago but is now streaming on Disney+ in select international markets. For viewers in the United States, the film is available on digital and will be released on DVD and Blu-ray later this month, but is not yet available on streaming.

So, how does Free Guy end up on Disney+ abroad before it hits streaming in the U.S.? That comes down to various deals between 20th Century Fox, Disney, and HBO. Fox and HBO, per Variety, have a home video release deal that goes back four decades. That deal was extended in 2012, but while 20th Fox was acquired by Disney, the previous distribution deals remain in place. That may mean that Free Guy will go to WarnerMedia's HBO Max domestically and Disney+ internationally as the international home release may not be under the same agreement.

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"We acquired Free Guy under a different distribution assumption and set of agreements," explained Disney CEO Bob Chapek. "We don't have the degree of freedom to a do a [Disney+ Premier Access release] on Free Guy."

While this is less than ideal news for American fans, it's great news for Disney+ subscribers in the U.K., Canada, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand where Free Guy is now available to stream on that platform.

In Free Guy, Ryan Reynolds stars as a bank teller who discovers he is a background player in an open-world video game and decides to become the hero of his own story-one he rewrites himself. Now in a world where there are no limits, he is determined to be the guy who saves his world his way before it is too late.

Free Guy also stars Jodie Comer, Joe Keery, Lil Rel Howery, Utkarsh Ambudkar, and Taika Waititi. Shawn Levy directs the film from a story by Matt Lieberman and a screenplay by Lieberman and Zak Penn. Ryan Reynolds, p.g.a., Shawn Levy, p.g.a., Sarah Schechter, Greg Berlanti, and Adam Kolbrenner produced the film with Mary McLaglen, Josh McLaglen, George Dewey, Dan Levine, and Michael Riley McGrath serving as executive producers.

What do you think about Free Guy streaming on Disney+ internationally? Let us know in the comment section.