When Will Wish Start Streaming on Disney Plus?

By David Thompson Posted:
Disney Plus Wish Asha

Disney Animation's latest film Wish isn't performing well in theaters and will soon be headed for streaming on Disney+.

Wish, Disney's newest animated musical, is a certified flop at the box office, earning just $31.7 million over the 5-day Thanksgiving weekend.

This performance lagged behind the opening weekend earnings of almost every other film from Walt Disney Animation Studios, besides a few recent releases.

The reality is many audiences have learned during the 2020s that heading out to a theater for Disney's latest animated film may not be as necessary as it once was as it will soon be available to stream at home.

When Will Wish Begin Streaming?

Wish movie poster

Since Disney+ launched in 2019, three Disney Animation films have been released on streaming - two after a theatrical opening and one directly onto the service.

Here's a look at the window (if there is one) for Disney Animation movies moving from theaters to Disney+:

  • Raya and the Last Dragon: March 5, 2021 (day-and-date, 0 days)
  • Encanto: November 24, 2021 - December 24, 2021 (30 days)
  • Strange World: November 23, 2022 - December 23, 2022 (30 days)

In addition, here are the Disney+ release windows for Pixar films - also note how three of them were straight-to-streaming:

  • Onward: March 6, 2020 - April 3, 2020 (28 days)
  • Soul: December 25, 2020 - December 25, 2020 (Day-and-date, 0 days)
  • Luca: June 18, 2021 - June 18, 2021 (Day-and-date, 0 days)
  • Turning Red: March 11, 2022 - March 11, 2022 (Day-and-date, 0 days)
  • Lightyear: June 17, 2022 - August 3, 2022 (47 days)
  • Elemental: June 16, 2023 - September 12, 2023 (89 days)

Elemental, the only other animated Disney movie released in 2023, is the most relevant theatrical-to-streaming window as it compares to Wish.

The issue is Wish has not been a box office success and, while Elemental didn't break any records, it also sustained consistent earnings to nearly $500 million at the worldwide box office.

This makes the (roughly) 90-day theater-to-streaming window hard to imagine applying to Wish, especially when Elemental is the only recent film to do it.

One reason why Wish could be released around 90 days after its November 22 opening is the fact that CEO Bob Iger is pushing back a bit against everything living on streaming and trying to give theatrical releases more time to earn cash.

If it were to be released in the same range as Elemental it would make its Disney+ debut around Wednesday, February 20.

Due to its poor performance, Disney may enlist a more sped-up strategy, similar to animated films before 2023. A 70-day window seems reasonable, putting Wish's Disney+ premiere on Wednesday, January 31.

Why Wish May Perform Better on Disney+

There's been a bit of a shift in how audiences and spectators can consider a Disney movie a success. Box office results have always been an easy way to see if fans were interested, but Disney+ has changed the game.

Disney's decision to release four animated films directly to streaming (in part due to the pandemic) rewrote the playbook and set new expectations for families.

While Elemental did have an underdog run at the box office after a slow start, it ultimately became one of the "biggest streaming hits in [Disney's] history."

There's no reason Wish couldn't share similar results as, by all accounts, it could be another big hit with children, especially given the rewatchability of Disney's animated movies with a few catchy songs.

This is now an uphill battle created by Disney that the company will have to deal with over the next few years. Disney+'s ease of use and quick access to new movies will make it difficult to pull everyone back into theaters.

For now, the company will lick its wounds over Wish and set a strategic date for it to make the move over to streaming.

Wish is now playing in theaters worldwide.

- In This Article: Wish
Release Date
November 22, 2023
Ariana DeBose
Chris Pine
- About The Author: David Thompson
As an editor, writer, and podcast host, David is a key member of The Direct. He is an expert at covering topics like Marvel, DC, Star Wars, and business-related news following the box office and streaming.