From Phase 4 starting out with Black Widow releasing simultaneously in theaters and on Disney+, the MCU has recently taken strides to lengthen the window before its movies come to streaming, with Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania recently breaking that record with an almost three-month wait.
Guardians 3's Home Release Spells Trouble for Disney+ Drop
Marvel Studios officially announced Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will release for digital purchase on Friday, July 7, to be followed by its release on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on Tuesday, August 1.
However, just like Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania but unlike every other MCU movie since the launch of Disney+, Guardians 3 was marketed specifically for release "only on digital" on July 7.
Up until Ant-Man 3 broke the trend as it kickstarted Phase 5, every Phase 4 movie released on Disney+ on the same day as digital purchase, with the physical drop then following several weeks later.
Just like Quantumania, Guardians 3 will seemingly not come to Disney+ until sometime after the release on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD - set for August 1.
This likely comes as part of a recent shift in Disney+ release strategy to increase home entertainment sales and revenue which has been especially prevalent since Bob Iger replaced Bob Chapek as Disney CEO in November 2022.
When James Gunn was asked about the Disney+ release date just days before the official announcement of the home purchase dates, the director called for fans to "let [them] enjoy theaters:"
"We're still in top 5 in the box office, let us enjoy theaters."
This came after the filmmaker teased earlier in the month how it "might be a little bit" before Guardians 3 comes home as it continued to win big in theaters.
When Will Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Release on Disney+?
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 marks the second MCU movie since the launch of Disney+ to be marketed as "only on digital" after the same release pattern was followed earlier this year for Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania.
In the case of that movie, the digital purchase dropped on April 18 followed by the physical debut on May 16, 28 days later. Quantumania came to Disney+ just one day after its release on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on Wednesday, May 17.
James Gunn's latest sci-fi blockbuster is already showing signs of following a similar pattern with a physical release 25 days after the digital purchase. So, fans can possibly expect to see Guardians 3 on Disney+ on Wednesday, August 2.
An August 2 Disney+ release for Guardians 3 would be rather fitting for Marvel Studios as it would come exactly one week after the sixth and final episode of Secret Invasion, continuing the steady stream of MCU content on the platform.
If this date were to come to fruition, Guardians 3 would draw with Ant-Man 3's record for the longest wait from a theatrical to Disney+ release with 89 days.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will release for digital purchase on July 7 to be followed by a physical release on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on August 1.