Disney appears to be going to unusual lengths to ensure that people actually show up to Avatar’s theatrical re-release.
As spotted by Collider, Avatar has been quietly removed from Disney+ ahead of its re-release in select cinemas. The official reason for why this happened is unclear, but Disney reportedly pulled the movie from its streaming service with zero warning, angering at least some subscribers.
Popular speculation would suggest that Disney just wants to drive ticket sales for its upcoming Avatar event:
So far, Disney+ subscribers could watch Cameron’s otherworldly adventure as many times as they wanted from the comfort of their couches. Unfortunately, if you were waiting until the last minute before rewatching Avatar ahead of The Way of Water, the movie is no longer available. Removing the classic is probably motivated by its re-release, as not having the film available for streaming can convince more people to go to theaters.
It’s unclear when Avatar might return to Disney+, but fans can check out the movie again in select theaters on September 23.
Avatar: The Way of Water, its long-anticipated sequel, will be released on December 16.