Disney+ Day (Sept. 8) to Offer ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ Streaming Debut, Among Other Content Exclusives

Disney Aug. 22 announced that it would offer multiple content premieres from its Pixar Animation, Marvel Studios, Star Wars, National Geographic and The Simpsons brands, in addition to theme park exclusives on its annual Disney+ Day happening Sept. 8. The event is designed to bring attention to the media giant’s branded subscription streaming service, including pending ad-supported subscription tier.

This year, Disney+ Day will lead into D23 Expo: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event presented by Visa in Anaheim, Calif., that runs from Sept. 9 to 11.

New titles debuting on the platform include Marvel Studios’ box office hit Thor: Love and Thunder, bonus feature “Assembled: The Making of Thor: Love and Thunder,” behind-the-scenes feature “Obi-Wan Kenobi: A Jedi’s Return,” “Remembering,” “Dancing with the Stars: The Pros’ Most Memorable Dances,” “Tierra Incógnita,” the Frozen and Frozen 2 Sing-Alongs, and “Welcome to the Club,” a new short from “The Simpsons.”

Disney Parks, Experiences and Products will join in the Disney+ Day marketing event with perks for subscribers, including early entry to Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort, celebratory photo opportunities, entertainment, culinary delights, and more. Additionally, Disney+ Day special screenings will return to select AMC Theatres from Sept. 8-19.

In addition to the previously announced movie Pinocchio, a new episode of “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law,” “Cars on the Road,” “Growing Up” and “Epic Adventures With Bertie Gregory,” will debut on the SVOD.

Thor: Love and Thunder, which generated more than $737 million at the global box office, joins 15 other Marvel Cinematic Universe movies now streaming in Imax Enhanced on Disney+. With Imax Enhanced, Disney says its streaming subscribers can experience the distributor’s expanded aspect ratio at home, which provides up to 26% more picture for an immersive viewing experience. (No additional cost or device required. Content availability varies by region.)

“Obi-Wan Kenobi: A Jedi’s Return”

With never-before-seen behind-the-scenes footage, colorful personal stories and meaningful moments, “Obi-Wan Kenobi: A Jedi’s Return” showcases the making of Lucasfilm’s original limited series for Disney+, “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” an epic story that begins 10 years after the dramatic events of “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.” This insightful documentary from Lucasfilm and Supper Club explores the return of Obi-Wan Kenobi and  Anakin Skywalker to the screen — and  Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen to their respective classic roles. Director Deborah Chow, cast and crew reflect on their journey to tell a new story with iconic Star Wars characters Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Vader and Princess Leia, while introducing new heroes and villains into the saga along the way. Complete with visits to the creature shop, props department and more, “Obi-Wan Kenobi: A Jedi’s Return” features the side of filmmaking that makes Star Wars so unique — the respect and passion for the generation-spanning legacy and the beloved characters.

Frozen and Frozen 2 Sing-Alongs

Disney+ will release new Sing-Along versions of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Frozen and Frozen 2. As subscribers watch the Sing-Along version of these films, they will be able to fully immerse themselves in the music with on-screen lyrics.

Remembering 

Where do ideas come from? And where do they go when they’re forgotten? These central questions are brought to life in Remembering, an original short film by Emmy Winning director Elijah Allan-Blitz. The story follows a writer (played by Academy Award winner Brie Larson) who loses a very important idea when her phone rings. Personified as golden light, this lost idea is found by the writer’s inner child, who takes us on a journey through The World of Imagination. It is easy to lose touch with this world, but each of us can be inspired by it — if we just remember. With a first of its kind companion Augmented Reality app, where the AR experience is triggered by the film’s moving image, select Disney+ subs in the U.S. can interact with the story by scanning the TV to extend The World of Imagination, into their living room.

“Welcome to the Club” (a new short from The Simpsons)

Heart set on becoming a princess, Lisa Simpson is surprised to learn being bad might be more fun.

“Dancing with the Stars: The Pros’ Most Memorable Dances”

“Dancing with the Stars: The Pros’ Most Memorable Dances” is a look back on the 20 most memorable dances of thirty seasons of Dancing with the Stars’ chosen by the Pro-Dancers. Hosted by Derek Hough, Kym Johnson, Cheryl Burke, and Brandon Armstrong, we’ll see them countdown to their most notable performance — highlighting everything from the best Mirrorball-winning performances over the years, to opening numbers, Emmy-winning dances, and celebrity mishaps. It all leads up to season 31 premiering live only on Disney+. The show is produced by BBC Studios Los Angeles Productions.

“Tierra Incógnita” (Original Series Produced in Latin America)

“Tierra Incógnita” follows Eric Dalaras (Pedro Maurizi), a teenager who discovers a hair-raising world while searching for the truth behind the mysterious disappearance of his parents eight years before. Raised by his maternal grandparents along with his sister Uma (Mora Fisz), Eric decides to run away from home and go back to his childhood town, Cabo Qwert, to find answers where his parents were last seen: the Tierra Incógnita horror theme park. Together with his friends, his sister and his aunt, Eric must overcome his fears in order to find answers and solve the mystery in a dark and unfamiliar world.

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Previously announced Disney+ titles include:

Pinocchio

Academy Award winner Robert Zemeckis directs this live-action retelling of the tale of a wooden puppet who embarks on a thrilling adventure to become a real boy. Tom Hanks stars as Geppetto, the wood-carver who builds and treats Pinocchio (Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) as if he were his own son. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is Jiminy Cricket, who serves as Pinocchio’s guide as well as his “conscience”; Academy Award nominee Cynthia Erivo is the Blue Fairy; Keegan-Michael Key is “Honest” John; Academy Award nominee Lorraine Bracco is Sofia the Seagull, a new character, and Luke Evans is The Coachman.

“She-Hulk: Attorney at Law” (New episodes streaming Thursdays)

In Marvel Studios’ “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law,” Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany)—an attorney specializing in superhuman-oriented legal cases—must navigate the complicated life of a single, 30-something who also happens to be a green 6-foot-7-inch superpowered hulk. The nine-episode comedy series welcomes a host of MCU vets, including Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner, Tim Roth as Emil Blonsky/Abomination, and Benedict Wong as Wong, as well as Ginger Gonzaga, Josh Segarra, Jameela Jamil, Jon Bass, and Renée Elise Goldsberry. Directed by Kat Coiro (Episodes 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9) and Anu Valia (Episodes 5, 6, 7) with Jessica Gao as head writer. Executive producers are Kevin Feige, Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Brad Winderbaum, Kar Coiro and Jessica Gao.

“Cars on the Road”

The series follows Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) and his best friend Mater (voice of Larry the Cable Guy) as they head east from Radiator Springs on a cross-country road trip to meet up with Mater’s sister. Along the way, every stop is its own adventure, with outrageous roadside attractions and colorful new characters. “Cars on the Road” is produced by Marc Sondheimer. The series’ episodes are directed by Steve Purcell (Eps 1, 2, 8), Bobby Podesta (Eps 5, 6, 9) and Brian Fee (Eps 3, 4, 7). Composer Jake Monaco created the score for all nine episodes.

“Growing Up”

Created by Brie Larson and Culture.House, “Growing Up” is an innovative hybrid docu-series that explores the challenges, triumphs, and complexities of adolescence through ten compelling coming of age stories. From Disney Branded Television, the series uses narrative, experimental, and documentary filmmaking to follow one casted individual, ages 18-22, as they tell their story. They represent a wide range of lived experiences, giving audiences emotionally powerful narratives that offer an engaging look at teenage-hood and the diverse social, familial, and internal obstacles young people face on their path to self-discovery and acceptance. Each 30-minute episode features one young person, or “hero,” and their experience growing up. Each episode is anchored by a deeply personal interview that allows our heroes to walk us through their childhood and teenage years. Alongside these interviews, creative cinematic reenactments help bring their major inflection points to life.

“Epic Adventures With Bertie Gregory”

The face of a new generation of aspirational adventurers and natural history filmmakers, 29-year-old National Geographic Explorer Bertie Gregory takes viewers on epic and nail-biting journeys that push into the most spectacular and secretive corners of our wild world. Armed with leading-edge film technology, the Disney+ original series “Epic Adventures with Bertie Gregory,” from National Geographic, breaks the mold of the traditional natural history program by telling extraordinary, real-life animal stories and taking viewers with him for every beat of the action. For weeks at a time, the charismatic BAFTA Award-winning cinematographer immerses himself into the animals’ lives to capture the untold stories of iconic creatures living in some of the harshest environments on our planet. This season, we will see Bertie braving the icy worlds of Antarctica in search of the biggest gathering of whales ever filmed and coming face-to-face with specialist buffalo-hunting lions in Zambia. In this multipart adventure series, he will take audiences on an ambitious odyssey across the globe, showcasing the natural world at a time when it faces its greatest challenges.

Theme Park Specials:

In celebration of Disney+ Day, guests at Disney theme parks will discover new ways to “plus” up their experience with special offerings and fan-favorite fun. On September 8, Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California will usher in the festivities with Disney+-inspired character meet-and-greets, photo opportunities and more. Disney+ subscribers and their party with theme park tickets and reservations are once again invited to enter the theme parks at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort 30 minutes before regular park open on September 8. Subscribers will also enjoy complimentary Disney PhotoPass digital download(s) at select locations at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the Disneyland Resort theme parks that day.

Fans are invited to join the celebrations digitally by stepping up their selfie game with Disney PhotoPass Lenses for Disney+ Day. These new limited-time lenses will be available to those celebrating in the parks or at home in the U.S. through Snapchat and the My Disney Experience app.

Disneyland Paris will delight guests with new surprises including special entertainment, dedicated photo opportunities and a blue-themed dessert on Sept. 8. For more fanfare, Disney+ subscribers and their party with theme park tickets and reservations are invited for the first time to enter Disneyland Park at Disneyland Paris at 9 a.m. (30 minutes before regular park opening) only on Sept. 8, 2022. Hong Kong Disneyland will celebrate with guests visiting the park on Sept. 10.

During the Aug. 29-Sept. 5 Disney Vacation Club Member Cruise, Members aboard the Disney Wonder will be treated to special gifts from Disney+ and nine exclusive shows and experiences supporting current and upcoming Disney+ programming.

Around the world, Consumer Products, Games and Publishing will also be celebrating Disney+ Day. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more details on how to join in on the fun.

AMC Theatres Disney+ Day Screenings

Select AMC Theatres will celebrate Disney+ Day with screenings of movies including Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Encanto, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Marvel Studios’ Thor: Ragnarok, Disney and Pixar’s Cars and Newsies. Tickets are $5 per screening and are available to everyone. Attendees will receive a free Disney+ poster (while supplies last), and a special concessions offer will be available for Disney+ subs. Tickets go on sale on Sept. 1.

Additional special subscriber perks will be announced in the lead-up to Sept. 8.

New Live-Action ‘Pinocchio’ Movie to Debut on Disney+ Ahead of D23 Expo Return Sept. 8

Disney is set to premiere new live-action movie Pinocchio on Disney+ Day Sept. 8, ahead of the return of the media giant’s D23 Expo: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event in Anaheim, Calif. The subscription streaming VOD service will host special experiences for fans and subscribers, and premiere new content from its brands, including Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic in the coming months.

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Directed by Academy Award winner Robert Zemeckis, Pinocchio stars Tom Hanks as Geppetto, the wood carver who builds and treats the puppet Pinocchio (Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) as if he were his own son. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is Jiminy Cricket, who serves as Pinocchio’s guide as well as his “conscience”; Oscar nominee Cynthia Erivo is the Blue Fairy; Keegan-Michael Key is “Honest” John; Oscar nominee Lorraine Bracco is Sofia the Seagull, a new character; and Luke Evans is The Coachman. Also in the cast are Kyanne Lamaya as Fabiana (and her marionette Sabina), Giuseppe Battiston as Señor Stromboli, and Lewin Lloyd as Lampwick.

Zemeckis, Derek Hogue, Andrew Miano, Chris Weitz and Paul Weitz are the film’s producers, with Jackie Levine, Jack Rapke, Alexandra Derbyshire and Jeremy Johns the executive producers.

Pinocchio marks the first collaboration between Zemeckis and Hanks since the 2004 animated winter family fantasy The Polar Express.

Samba TV: ‘Shang-Chi’ Tops Disney+ Day/Weekend Streaming

Last week’s much-hyped Disney+ Day (Nov. 12) offered subscribers for the first time free streaming access to theatrical hits Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Jungle Cruise, among other featured content.

While Disney+ Day ended up more hype than substance, Shang-Chi didn’t disappoint, generating views in about 1.7 million homes through Nov. 15 — topping Jungle Cruise with 1.2 million homes, according to new data from Samba TV, which tracks more than 46 million opted-in televisions globally, including 28 million in the United States.

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The year’s biggest domestic box office driver (thus far) with $224 million, Shang-Chi and Jungle Cruise topped Disney+ Day launches of Ciao Alberto (376,000 homes), The Simpsons Plusaversary (161,000 homes) and Olaf Presents (93,000 homes).

The weekend’s overall winner was Netflix original movie Red Notice, with the actioner starring Ryan Reynolds, Dwayne Johnson and Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman) generating a whopping 4.2 million subscriber homes, according to the SVOD pioneer.

Netflix has launched its owns content ratings charts that seek to highlight time spent streaming instead of viewers.

‘Disney+ Day’ Came and Went Nowhere

When Disney in 2020 announced, on its investor day presentation, a companywide celebration for the two-year anniversary of the Disney+ streaming service on Nov. 12, 2021, there was much to rejoice. The much-hyped SVOD service was growing subscribers exponentially, seemingly narrowing a sub gap with Netflix that had taken the subscription streaming video pioneer a decade to establish.

But with last week’s anniversary falling on a Friday when much of Wall Street and the media had already packed it in for the weekend, the event required extended attention spans for anyone that cared.

That was quite an ask, considering Disney had previously reported (on the Nov. 10 fiscal call) much of any news surrounding its direct-to-consumer portfolio that includes Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+ and Hulu + Live TV. That news included an impressive 179 million total subs — but, upon inspection, also slower sub growth at both Disney+ and Hulu.

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Indeed, India’s Hotstar streaming service, which Disney acquired in the Fox assets purchase, accounts for 37% of the total Disney+ sub base.

With CEO Bob Chapek on the fiscal call disclosing the pending free availability of Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on the streamer — the same day the movie would be sold across digital platforms for $19.99 — there was little news to actually report on Disney+ Day.

To be sure, the streamer offered free (non-Premier Access) access to anyone who still cared about watching Jungle Cruise. Throw in $1.99 first-month subscription pricing (valid through Nov. 14), amusement park and cruise ship reservation specials, and DVD-like behind-the-scenes specials about pending series Marvel’s “Hawkeye,” and Star Wars-themed “The Book of Boba Fett” and “Obi-Wan Kenobi” — and that was essentially it. No special press event with executives and celebrities extolling the virtues of Disney+.

“I was thinking there was going to be a live-streaming thing … thinking there would be lots of content to discuss,” Erik Blythe, co-host of RandomChatter Network’s “ForceChatter” said on the podcast.

Blythe said last year’s investor day event announcing this year’s Disney+ Day had “multiple episodes” worth of content news. Indeed, the 2020 Investor Day event featured four hours of Disney executives and production personnel outlining boatloads of content. This year, nothing.

Blythe and his podcast partners, Tim Riecker and Lou Secki, gave the Disney+ Day a “D+ grade” based on the content delivered to them in advance on a sizzle reel.

“There was so much we didn’t get,” Riecker said. “It fell short of expectations.”

Disney/Marvel’s ‘Eternals’ Expected to Again Lead Weekend Box Office as Disney Day Dawns

Disney/Marvel Studios’ ensemble actioner Eternals is projected to lead the domestic box office in its sophomore weekend release. The latest superhero movie has topped $175 million at the global box office, including $85 million in the U.S., since its Nov. 5 debut.

Eternals is also heading shortly to the subscription streaming service Disney+ as part of Disney’s accelerated theatrical window strategy optimizing select titles across streaming, premium VOD (Premier Access) and the cineplex.

The sci-fi fantasy movie featuring Selma Hayek, Angelina Jolie, Gemma Chan, Richard Madden and Kit Harington, among others, is merely a prelude to today’s marketing event Disney+ Day (Nov. 12), which features myriad content announcements and companywide specials through Nov. 14 in celebration of the streamer’s two-year anniversary.

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All new Disney+ subscribers get the first month of service for $1.99, followed by the normal $7.99 pricing thereafter.

Disney+ Day includes first-time Disney+ access (outside PVOD) to Jungle Cruise and separately, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings — the top-grossing movie at the domestic box office thus far in 2021. Disney+ is also bowing documentary, Marvel Assembled: The Making of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

Disney+ will play host two new original series, Marvel’s “Hawkeye” on Nov. 24, and the latest “Star Wars” adventure, “The Book of Boba Fett” on Dec. 29. Over the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend, Disney+ will debut of The Beatles: Get Back, Peter Jackson’s highly anticipated three-part documentary.

“Under the Helmet: The Legacy of Boba Fett”

Today, Disney+ debuts Under the Helmet: The Legacy of Boba Fett, and Marvel Studios Legends: Hawkeye, two short films tied to the new series. In addition, there is The Making of Happier Than Ever: A Love Letter to Los Angeles, a short film about singer Billie Eilish’s concert movie.

Other Disney+ Day specials include the sixth installment in the “Home Alone” franchise, Home Sweet Home Alone, short films Olaf Presents and Ciao Alberto, from Pixar’s Luca; and Disney Channel original movie Spin, which follows an Indian-American girl with a dream of becoming a DJ. In addition, the streamer is offering Frozen Fever, Paperman, The Ballad of Nessie, Feast, Get a Horse!, The Little Matchgirl, Tick Tock Tale and Tangled Ever After, among other films.

Separately, Disney+ is bowing another season of “The World According to Jeff Goldblum,” in addition to The Simpsons in Plusaversary, featuring the cast throwing a Disney+ Day celebration — without inviting Homer.

CEO Bob Chapek said Disney now expects to significantly increase the previously announced $8 billion to $9 billion in original content spending through 2024.

“In total, we are nearly doubling the amount of original content from our marquee brands, Disney, Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars, and National Geographic coming to Disney+ in FY ’22, with the majority of our highly anticipated titles arriving July through September,” Chapek said on the fiscal call earlier this week.

Disney+ Slashes Streaming Price Ahead of Two-Year Anniversary Nov. 12

Ahead of a busy corporate week, Disney Nov. 8 announced it is offering new and eligible existing subscribers through Nov. 14 one month of the Disney+ subscription streaming video platform for $1.99 per month. The special pricing converts to the standard $7.99 monthly pricing thereafter unless canceled.

The Disney+ bundle, which includes Hulu (with ads) and ESPN+, remains priced at $13.99 monthly; $19.99 when including Hulu without ads.

Disney is announcing quarterly financial results on Nov. 10, followed by the two-year anniversary of the Disney+ platform on Nov. 12, with a company-wide “Disney+ Day” featuring the availability of Jungle Cruise and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, among other special events.

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About 200 AMC Theatres nationwide will play select Disney movies Nov. 12-14 with tickets priced at $5.

“The inaugural Disney+ Day will be a grand-scale celebration of our subscribers across the entire company,” CEO Bob Chapek said in a statement. “This day of appreciation brings to life our mission to entertain, inform, and inspire fans and families around the globe through the power of unparalleled storytelling, and will become an annual tentpole event to be amplified across our global businesses.”

Specifically, Disney+ subscribers will have access to Disney parks and amusements 30 minutes ahead of regular customers from Nov. 12 to Nov. 14. During that time Disney will offer free shipping on all e-commerce purchases.

Disney publishing will offer eBooks priced from 99 cents through Nov. 17. The Disney Music Emporium on Nov. 12 will offer everything in the store, including collectables and vinyl at 20% off. Disney Movie Insiders can earn bonus points when purchasing digital movies.

“Since launching two years ago, Disney+ has captured the hearts and imaginations of audiences around the world with its best-in-class originals and robust library of beloved films and series,” said Kareem Daniel, chairman, Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution. “With Disney+ Day, we are creating an unparalleled experience for our subscribers as only The Walt Disney Company can.”