When is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 going to be available on Disney Plus? That’s a question we suspect you’ve asked yourself since the Marvel movie originally rocketed its way into theaters.
The short answer is: we simply don’t know. Guardians of the Galaxy 3 only launched in theaters on May 3 and, based on when other Marvel films have debuted on Disney’s primary streamer, its Disney Plus release is likely still a while off.
However, we do know that Guardians 3 will make its streaming debut soon, just not on Disney Plus. It’s coming to numerous digital services in early July but, in our opinion, don’t expect the Marvel Phase 5 flick to join Disney Plus until August at the very earliest.
Why do we think it’ll arrive that month? As we mentioned, that prediction is based on when other recent Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movies have joined Disney Plus’ back catalog. Read about which ones made it onto our best Disney Plus movies list while you’re here.
When will Guardians 3 be released on Disney Plus?
I am Groot? (Translation: when is Guardians 3 debuting on Disney Plus?) (Image credit: Marvel Studios)
Guardians 3 doesn’t have a confirmed Disney Plus release date yet. It only launched in theaters in early May (in select territories, such as the UK) before its global release came on May 5.
After a few box office duds – Ant-Man 3 and Thor: Love and Thunder, we’re looking at you – in the past year, Marvel needed a big theatrical win. Luckily for the studio, Guardians 3 did just that, with the final James Gunn-directed MCU movie earning $823 million at the box office. It’s still in theaters now, too, so we can expect ticket sales (while they’re slowing down) to continue for a couple more weeks yet.
Why is Guardians 3’s performance in theaters important? If it continues to sell tickets, Marvel won’t be in a rush to remove it from theaters and release it on Disney’s main streaming service. Why release it for free on Disney Plus if it continues to make cash in cinemas across the globe?
That said, if its box office haul doesn’t rise significantly between now (June 23) and summer blockbuster season – it’ll have new movies like Mission Impossible 7, Oppenheimer, and Barbie to deal with in July – then Marvel might bring Guardians 3’s theatrical run to a close. That would mean its Disney Plus release wouldn’t be too far away.
Guardians of the Galaxy 3 on Disney Plus: our prediction
Pete, I’m done running… to Disney Plus to see the latest MCU film! (Image credit: Marvel Studios)
So, when could Guardians of the Galaxy 3 descend on Disney Plus? As we said in our intro, we think it’ll be August.
Marvel films used to have a 45-day exclusivity period in theaters before they dropped on Disney’s main streamer. However, the last two MCU movies – Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and Ant-Man 3 – didn’t debut on the platform until three months after their theatrical debuts. If this 90-day exclusiveity period is the new time frame between a Marvel movie launching in theaters and them coming on Disney Plus, Guardians 3 wouldn’t land on one of the world’s best streaming services until early August at the very earliest.
The only thing that might change that is the writers’ strike, which is (at the time of writing) dominating the entertainment industry news cycle.
For those unfamiliar with the industrial action: members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) are striking over pay and job security issues, meaning no new TV shows or movies are being written for TV networks or streaming platforms. You can read more about what’s going on in our article about Netflix users cancelling their subscriptions amid the growing writers’ strike feud.
With Secret Invasion now on Disney Plus (read our Secret Invasion review while you’re here), and Loki season 2 and Echo set to arrive before the end of 2023, Marvel won’t be immediately impacted by the strike action. However, if Disney and its subsidiaries (including Marvel Studios) start to run out of new content for Disney’s streaming services, including Disney Plus and Hulu, they could decide to release Guardians of the Galaxy 3 earlier than expected. That might mean the latest entry in our best Marvel movies guide releases in July, which we wouldn’t complain about.
The only potential spanner in the works about a July launch is the fact that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is coming to digital storefronts during that month. The movie will land on Apple TV, YouTube, the Amazon store, and other rent/buy platforms on July 7. If Marvel wants to make a quick buck from those services before it releases the film on Disney Plus, we won’t see Guardians 3 join the streamer’s movie library next month.
Once we learn of an official release date, we’ll update this article. For now, expect the Guardians’ (potentially) final movie to make its streaming bow in August.
For more MCU-based coverage, find out how to watch the Marvel movies in order or see which Marvel films made it onto our best superhero movies list.
Today’s best Disney Plus deals