Disney+ Release Date: Netflix's Last Disney Movie Could Reveal It
Netflix’s previously cozy relationship with Disney is shifting even more in March as we inch closer to the day when Netflix’s streaming library is completely devoid of Disney shows and movies. The reason? Disney+, a new streaming service meant to compete with Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Now.
We still don’t know exactly when Disney+ will launch (beyond a vague promise of sometime in 2019), but the remaining Disney-Netflix roadmap may reveal exactly when this new platform will arrive.
Netflix announced its March lineup of shows and movies on Wednesday morning, and in the list of what’s coming and going is a preview of how Netflix is changing in light of Disney+ streaming service shaking this up later this year. Christopher Robin hits Netflix on March 5, which is great news for Pooh fans. But Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End leaves on March 4, and Beauty and the Beast does the same on March 18.
In many cases, there’s always the possibility that movies can return to Netflix if the platform decides to license them again, but that’s not the case here. Pretty soon, nobody will ever be able to stream either of these movies on Netflix ever again, because they’ll be permanently locked into the Disney+ streaming library.
In light of Netflix canceling the last of its Marvel shows earlier this week, now seems like a good time to figure out exactly what the last Disney movie on Netflix will be, when it will arrive, and when it might leave the streaming service.
In an official statement from Disney published in August 2017, the House of Mouse clarified that its deal with Netflix would cease at the end of 2018:
“With this strategic shift, Disney will end its distribution agreement with Netflix for subscription streaming of new releases, beginning with the 2019 calendar year theatrical slate.”
In more straightforward terms, that means any Disney film — whether it’s a live-action remake, a Disney original sequel, a Star Wars film, or a Marvel movie — released in 2018 would still be made available to stream on Netflix for six months, usually starting roughly six months after its initial theatrical release.
The last Netflix Star Wars movie, Solo: A Star Wars Story, landed on Netflix January 9, 2019 after releasing in theaters in May, and it’s projected to leave on or around July 9, 2019. Similarly, Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp’s window runs from January 29 to around July 29 after hitting theaters in early July 2018.
There’s still more Disney to come, however. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, Ralph Breaks the Internet, and Mary Poppins Returns were all released in late 2018 and will have their own time in Netflix’s spotlight, per the previous contract.
Based on previous trends, it seems like Mary Poppins Returns might reach Netflix around mid-May and then leave the platform forever in November, officially marking the end of Disney and Netflix’s partnership.
Considering the Disney+ release date is expected in Fall 2019, this timing matches up perfectly. For all we know, Disney was waiting for the precise moment when it can exclusively stream all its latest films in one place, along with new, original series and movies.
Does that mean the Disney+ release date is in November, timed perfectly to when Mary Poppins Returns leaves Netflix? Probably.
Disney+ is expected to launch sometime in Fall 2019.
What’s on Netflix has a great roundup of every Disney, Marvel, and Star Wars movie with info on when it arrives on Netflix and when it leaves.