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Disney-Pixar Film 'Soul' to Release Direct on Disney+ Streaming

Disney-Pixar Studio's animated film "Soul" will release directly on streaming service Disney+ this Christmas.

Walt Disney  (DIS) - Get Walt Disney Company Report and Pixar Studio's animated film "Soul" will release directly on streaming service Disney+ this Christmas, the entertainment giant tweeted.

The animated comedy, with voices by Jamie Foxx and Tina Fey, will be free for Disney+ subscribers.

While 'Soul' will appear exclusively on Disney+ in the U.S. and Europe, it will be released in theaters in countries where the streaming service isn’t available, Bloomberg reported.

Disney has already gone the direct-to-streaming route several times this year, including the much-talked-about release of “Hamilton” on July 3.

Last month Disney delayed the release of the Marvel movie "Black Widow" to next spring from November.

Earlier this week, Cineworld Group’s Regal Entertainment Holdings said it would temporarily suspend operations at all its American and British movie theaters.

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The move came as crucial sales from expected fall and winter blockbuster movie releases like the next James Bond epic have been postponed by the coronavirus pandemic. 

By contrast, AMC Entertainment  (AMC) - Get AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. Class A Report said Thursday that it would open 520 of its 600 locations by mid-October. 

The coronavirus outbreak forced theaters to close their dues to comply with social distancing and quarantine requirements. Those rules were enacted to slow the spread of the potentially fatal disease.

Major multiplex chains in the U.S reopened last month at reduced capacity and with health protocols in place. Some markets, including New York City and Los Angeles, remain closed. 

In August, Disney said it would release its live-action drama "Mulan" on Disney+ on Sept. 4. 

The film also released in theaters worldwide with lower-than-expected receipts due to rising political tension between Beijing and Washington as well as coronavirus-induced lockdowns.

Shares of Disney were up 1% to $124.33 at last check.