Disney+ made MCU content more accessible at home than ever, with the latest superhero blockbusters coming to the streamer - although Black Panther: Wakanda Forever set a frustrating record on that front.
After Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania struggled to gain as much traction as expected at the box office, the MCU threequel recently announced when it will be available for digital and physical purchase, with seemingly no Disney+ release in sight.
Ant-Man 3 already made MCU Disney+ history thanks to its Loki Season 2-related post-credits scene teasing a new Variant of Jonathan Majors' Kang.
Ant-Man 3 Confirms Disney+ Release Date
Marvel Studios confirmed Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania will release on Disney+ on May 17.
The movie was recently announced to release for digital purchase on April 18, which would be followed by the Blu-ray and 4K release on May 16.
However, the home release marketing failed to mention when Ant-Man 3 would be coming to Disney+, with the shrinking threequel being specifically promoted in a tweet from Marvel Studios as "ONLY on digital" on April 18.
This marked the first time since the launch of Disney+ in 2019 that a Marvel Studios movie was being promoted with such "ONLY on digital" verbiage that omits mention of the streamer, which led to some fearing the movie would take a while before it launched on Disney's streamer.
Now, viewers can rest easy knowing Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania can be enjoyed shortly after the film's physical release.
To celebrate the Disney+ release date announcement, a new poster for the Ant-Man threequel was also revealed:
This does mark a noticeable change in Disney's release strategies though. Over the past year, fans have gotten used to Marvel Studios advertising its digital and streaming releases alongside each other with both dropping on the same day.
Disney seems to be eyeing a change to its current streaming release strategy, as Avatar: The Way of Water recently applied a similar principle in pushing the Disney+ marketing and release till after the digital and Blu-ray drops.
Avatar 2 finally came to digital on March 28, and has still yet to announce its Blu-ray or Disney+ release dates - although the service was recently updated with its spec details.
Will Ant-Man 3's Home Release Strategy Affect Future MCU Movies?
Between Avatar 2 and Ant-Man 3, two major Disney movies in a row have now omitted a streaming date from their initial home release marketing. This comes after almost every Disney movie since the service launched has had Disney+ at the center of their home release announcements and marketing.
While movies such as Avatar 2 and Black Panther 2 have come with above-average theatrical-to-digital release windows, Ant-Man 3 is fairly standard for recent MCU movies at 60 days. So, Disney's goal here doesn't seem to be to extend its theatrical runs with hopes of furthering box office potential.
This may be a decision from newly-returned Disney CEO Bob Iger, who replaced his fired predecessor Bob Chapek in November. Disney+ was integral to Chapek's content strategy, going as far as to deprive most animated movies of a theatrical release in favor of a straight-to-streaming model.
Debuting movies for digital purchase and Disney+ streaming on the same day will likely have brought with it a hit to the House of Mouse's PVOD sales. Perhaps as Iger now aims to course-correct any damage done by Chapek, part of that endeavor comes the return of having to wait for streaming releases.
With how much box office excitement is stirring around Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, it's highly likely that Disney will employ a similar strategy for its release in order to maintain as many ticket sales as it can before its home and Disney+ releases.
Luckily, the wait won't be too long in Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania's case, which will release on Disney+ on May 17.