Black Panther: Wakanda Forever‘s Disney+ release date may not happen anytime soon. Starting with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings in 2021, Disney has started releasing their Marvel Cinematic Universe movies on Disney+ 45 days after their theatrical window. This a model Disney has adopted for many of their film streaming releases including Lightyear, Death on the Nile, and The Bob’s Burgers Movie.
It appears though that the studio will be holding off on sending Black Panther: Wakanda Forever to Disney+ anytime soon as indicated by a recent report from Deadline. Due to Black Panther 2‘s strong box office and impressive word-of-mouth, Disney plans to hold off the release of the film on Disney+ until 2023. While no Disney+ date was ever hinted at, it was assumed it would arrive on the service in time for the Christmas holiday season.
Predicting Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s Disney+ Release Date
While the decision to delay Black Panther: Wakanda Forever on Disney+ is disappointing it is not surprising. Marvel Studios did hold off on releasing Thor: Love and Thunder on Disney+ past the 45-day theatrical window to time it as a Disney+ Day premiere. While many Marvel movies tend to be frontloaded in terms of box office, the original Black Panther was still bringing in high box office returns two months after its release and Disney does not want to cut off a potential $1 billion hit too early.
The other major factor impacting Black Panther: Wakanda Forever going to Disney+ could be the upcoming release of Avatar: The Way of Water. Since acquiring 20th Century Fox, Disney owns the Avatar franchise and now has the two biggest movies of the holiday season. Releasing Black Panther: Wakanda Forever on Disney+ so close to the holidays could not only impact the box office for it, but a major new release free at home could make people less likely to go out and see Avatar: The Way of Water in theaters. Delaying Black Panther: Wakanda Forever‘s Disney+ release will allow Disney to have two major blockbusters to play through the holiday season in theaters.
As for when Black Panther: Wakanda Forever could arrive on Disney+, there is a chance it could arrive in early January as that is a typically slow time at the box office and by that point Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will have been out for over two months. The more likely release is in February, as that would allow Disney and Marvel to tie it in with both Black History Month and the six-year anniversary release of the original Black Panther film. A February release would be arriving close to the release of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania allowing for one Marvel movie to lead into another and continue the anticipation for the Multiverse Saga.