When Will 'Ant-Man: Quantumania' Stream on Disney Plus? Not Soon, Sorry

Disney has been stretching out the time that films spend exclusively theaters, which means they're taking longer and longer to hit Disney Plus.

Joan E. Solsman Former Senior Reporter
Joan E. Solsman was CNET's senior media reporter, covering the intersection of entertainment and technology. She's reported from locations spanning from Disneyland to Serbian refugee camps, and she previously wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. She bikes to get almost everywhere and has been doored only once.
Expertise Streaming video, film, television and music; virtual, augmented and mixed reality; deep fakes and synthetic media; content moderation and misinformation online Credentials
  • Three Folio Eddie award wins: 2018 science & technology writing (Cartoon bunnies are hacking your brain), 2021 analysis (Deepfakes' election threat isn't what you'd think) and 2022 culture article (Apple's CODA Takes You Into an Inner World of Sign)
Joan E. Solsman
2 min read
Ant-Man, played by Paul Rudd, looks askance with a worried expression on his face.

Ant-Man: Quantumania, which officially opens in theaters Friday, will begin its first wide-release screenings Thursday.  


If the ho-hum reviews for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania have you considering holding off to see it until it's available to stream on Disney Plus, that could mean waiting until May. 

After social distancing pushed a wave of big-budget movies straight to streaming, theatrical exclusives are the norm again. But for a while, it seemed like Disney and other big Hollywood movie studios might be falling into a new post-COVID rhythm for how long they kept flicks in theaters before streaming them, one that was much faster in getting films to a streaming service than before.

Now, though, streaming release dates are all over the map. And for the biggest films, like Marvel's, the waits are stretching out longer. 

When is Ant-Man: Quantumania's streaming release date on Disney Plus?

It's anybody's guess, but it probably won't be quick.

Last year, Marvel released three films in theaters: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, in May; Thor: Love and Thunder, in July; and Black Panter: Wakanda Forever, in mid-November. Doctor Strange took 47 days to reach Disney Plus. Thor hit Disney Plus 62 days after its theatrical release. But Wakanda Forever took 82 days to start streaming.

In other words, each movie took progressively longer to hit Disney Plus. 

The Black Panther sequel marked the longest wait for a Marvel movie to start streaming since the company resumed theatrical exclusives in 2021. (That year, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was in theaters for 70 days and Eternals for 68 days.)

If Ant-Man matches Wakanda Forever's 82-day duration, it won't start streaming until the second week of May. 

All this comes as big Hollywood companies like Disney aren't prioritizing streaming-subscriber growth nearly as much as they did, depressing the incentive to bring big movies to a service quickly.

Paramount, for example, kept Top Gun: Maverick off its streaming service for 209 days, nearly seven months. The strategy paid dividends at the box office, with the Top Gun sequel grossing nearly $1.5 billion. While Disney has been much more aggressive than Paramount in putting its movies onto its streaming service quickly, Disney's trend for Marvel movies has been to hold them back longer in theaters as well.

However, Wakanda Forever may have been held off Disney Plus so long because of a consideration that won't apply to the next Marvel films coming out this year: With a Black director and predominantly Black cast, Wakanda Forever debuted on Disney Plus on the first day of Black History Month. Disney didn't mention any connection in the timing, but it's possible the film's wait to start streaming was drawn out so its availability coincided with an opportunity to celebrate Black culture.

Still, with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania officially hitting theaters Friday with early screenings already in progress, you could be waiting about three months to stream it if Disney sticks with Wakanda Forever's pace.