Onward Filmmakers Reveal How They Feel About Pixar's Early Release

One month ago everything was relatively normal and the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus has perhaps irrevocably changed life in the United States and the world for the forseeable future. Four weeks ago Pixar's latest movie Onward was making its way into theaters and wouldn't even play in theaters for two weeks before closures around the country resulted in its theatrical window being slammed shut. As a result, Disney did something previously thought unthinkable and released the movie on digital platforms early and announcing that it will arrive on the Disney+ platform...tomorrow! Though you may not think it considering its stuttered box office as a result of the shut downs, but the filmmakers behind Onward were fully in favor of the film's early digital release.

"Clearly, the right thing to do is for everyone to stay in and be safe and take care of themselves," director Dan Scanlon told CinemaBlend. "That said, it’s pretty great that folks are getting to see it online and that people are getting to have a little moment of joy, hopefully, or a little distraction with the film. And it’s been really wonderful to hear on social media, how much they enjoyed the film, how much they enjoyed getting to watch it with their family. And that it did bring them some joy during this time."

Onward was released on digital platforms for purchase on platforms such as Amazon, iTunes, VUDU, and FandangoNOW on March 20, and though they won't say official numbers, it apparently did quite well. Producer Kori Rae revealed that the first two days of the film's release had "a really high volume of people watching it."

Unfortunately for the record books, Onward is the lowest grossing Pixar movie by a significant margin. Domestically the film ended its run with $39.1 million and an international total of $61.5 million for a worldwide total of $102.95 million. The next lowest movie released by the animation studio is The Good Dinosaur with $333.7 million worldwide. In the end there will no doubt be an asterisk next to the film's box office totals considering the spread of the coronavirus, but Onward will always be able to say that it was the last movie to win the box office before there simply was no box office at all.

Onward stars Chris Pratt and Tom Holland as elf brothers who go on a quest to retrieve a source of magic power, in order to resurrect their late father for 24 hours. Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Octavia Spencer also star.


Onward will be available to stream on Disney+ beginning April 3rd. If you haven't signed up for Disney+ yet, you can try it out here.

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