Disney's strangest movies will soon be harder to find on Blu-ray

Disney’s strangest movies will soon be harder to find on Blu-ray

Disney Movie Club will be shut down and Sony will now take over Disney’s physical media production.

Disney has ended Disney Movie Club. The subscription service and the online store were fans could purchase Blu-rays or DVDs of movies from the House of Mouse. The Digital Bits reports that the closure is due to an agreement that Disney signed with Sony under which Sony Pictures Home Entertainment would take over all production of physical media. Disney Movie Club users in the US received the news that would be shutting down via email and the website.

Disney Movie Club wrote in a document viewed on by The Wrap, “We have enjoyed serving you over the past 23 years but consumer behavior continues to change and we’ve made the difficult decision to close Disney Movie Club.” Disney Movie Club customers will have until the 20th of May to place their final orders. The service will be officially ended on July 20th.

Disney Movie Club was launched in 2001. It offered access to Disney’s entire physical media library. This included titles from Marvel Comics, Star Wars and Pixar. The first four titles were available for free for new members who signed a 2-year contract. However, they had to buy at least five more films full price during the rest of the contract. This was noted by Disney Trippers in its review.

Disney Movie Club was a great option for fans of older or hard-to-find Disney films that aren’t available to stream. The Disney Movie Club offered a huge library at prices often higher than those of Amazon and physical retail stores. Disney Movie Club DVDs are often the only way for fans to watch older Disney films or those that are hard to find. Members also received extra benefits, like special editions and exclusive prizes.

Some Mouseketeers have seen the writing on the wall. Disney closed down the service in Canada in October last year, citing a “declining member” as a reason. Disney had stopped production of Blu-ray discs for Australia in August.

Disney Plus, the streaming service launched in 2019, is likely to be preferred by many families and Disney Adults. Some fans chose to keep both services because not all Disney Movie Club selections were available on Disney Plus. A physical copy will eliminate the risk of losing a favorite film or series, especially since Disney and other streaming services remove titles from time to time. Disney collectors and super fans often turn to Amazon, Ebay, or other physical media resale websites for rare or vintage Disney films.

The consumption of physical media is in freefall since over a decade. This coincides with the availability of streaming and digital rental and purchase services. In 2023, the decline was particularly severe. According to the Digital Entertainment Group, the combined sales and rentals of physical medium (including Blu-ray discs and 4K Ultra HDs ) in the US dropped by over a quarter (25.3%) last year.

Sony will be taking over Disney’s physical media operations, but Disney fans in the US can still purchase Blu-ray and DVD discs. It’s not clear how this new offering will be structured, or whether Sony will continue to offer the same titles.

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