Lightyear Disney+ Release Date Has Been Revealed

Lightyear's going from the stars to Disney+!

By Mark McKee | Published

lightyear trailer chris evans

One of the new benefits (unless you’re in the theater business) of the influx of streaming services is the rapidity of streaming releases. Traditionally, if you missed a big film in the theaters, it was months, sometimes even close to a year, before you could watch it at home. Now, it is only a matter of weeks. This new process isn’t reserved for smaller productions as in the past. Even the biggest production companies streamline the process to get their product in front of people as quickly as possible. Pixar’s newest film, Lightyear, is the latest to get this treatment, as a release date for Disney+ has been set. 

Variety reports that Disney announced the release date for fans to be able to catch Buzz and friends on their streaming service is August 3. Most viewers would traditionally see a 47-day turnaround from theatrical release to streaming release as an indication of poor performance for Lightyear. Nowadays, that is not the case. Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was released on May 6 of this year in the theaters. After a pull of nearly $700 million, it hit Disney+ on June 22. This is also an exact 47-day turnaround. Disney isn’t the only one employing this tactic. The Batman was arguably Warner Brothers’ most significant release of the year and raked in a massive haul of $770 million at the box office. While that would traditionally mean a long and uninterrupted theater run, it hit HBO Max on April 18, 46 days after the March 4 release date. 

With an estimated budget of $200 million, the expectations were much higher than the reality. At this point in its theater run, Lightyear has pulled in an anemic $213 million, recouping the budget and a small amount of profit. While there is hope that a film with a budget that high doubles its return, it doesn’t always happen. Some films will be massive successes in the opening weekend and then falter, similar to the release of Thor: Love and Thunder. Others will have more modest openings and then have legs that keep them in the top few sellers for many weeks. Pixar’s latest film pulled in just under $21 million on opening day and has steadily declined since. To put it into perspective, other Toy Story properties have done exceptionally well in the theaters and traditionally have been surefire hits. With Toy Story 2 raking in $852 million and Toy Story 3 destroying the box office with $1.2 billion. 

With the controversy surrounding Buzz Lightyear’s recasting of Tim Allen to Chris Evans, and the boycotting by some of the more conservative groups, it isn’t hard to see why it didn’t hit the billion-dollar mark. However, that has nothing to do with the quick turnaround to streaming. Disney+ is leading the way in most areas of the industry, and with their streaming service being one of the biggest hitters for home viewers, they are sure to continue making a killing with Lightyear taking kids to space without leaving the comfort of their own homes.