Pixar Confirms Long Theatrical Window for Inside Out 2

Waiting to stream Inside Out 2 on Disney+? It's going to be a while before the Pixar movie leaves theaters.

Inside Out 2 is about the personified emotions inside the mind of 13-year-old Riley. But to Pixar, which will open the sequel nine years after the $858 million-grossing original on June 14, it's the first test of a recent rethink: getting it into heads that Pixar's movies won't be available to stream on Disney+ until after a long exclusive theatrical window.

Pixar president Jim Morris told Bloomberg that Inside Out 2 will screen for at least 100 days in theaters, more than doubling the 47-day window of 2022's Lightyear ($226.4 million) and surpassing the 89-day wait for 2023's Elemental ($496.4 million) to arrive on Disney+. (A slow-burner at the box office, the animated romcom was Disney+'s biggest movie premiere since Pixar's own Turning Red and went on to top the Nielsen streaming movies chart when it eventually landed on the streamer after three months in theaters.)

notes that then-Disney CEO Bob Chapek's decision to have three Pixar movies bypass theaters for Disney+ during the pandemic — 2020's Soul, 2021's Luca, and 2022's Turning Red — "trained audiences to expect Pixar pictures to premiere on their phones and in their homes instead of in cinemas." All three movies only received theatrical releases earlier this year.

"I hope that we will not release another feature film on Disney+," Morris said. "If we do more stuff for Disney+, it should be a series, and then that makes a clean demarcation between what we do for theaters and what we do for streaming." Pixar's first animated TV series, Win or Lose, will premiere later this year on Disney+, followed by an Inside Out spinoff series, Dream Productions, in 2025.

(Photo: Pixar / Inside Out 2)

In 2023, Pete Docter, Pixar's chief creative officer and director of Soul, said that the movie was made for the big screen but was sent to streaming at a time when theaters were shuttered during the COVID pandemic.

"In the long run, there's been a bit of a mixed blessing because we've trained audiences that these films will be available for you on Disney+," Docter told Variety during Elemental's opening weekend. "And it's more expensive for a family of four to go to a theater when they know they can wait and it'll come out on the platform. We're trying to make sure people realize there's a great deal you're missing by not seeing it on the big screen. In the case of Elemental, it's a beautiful spectacle, there's detail everywhere. I think you feel it more and it's a better experience. There's the shared experience as well, that you get to see it in a room with strangers, and there's something about the energy that comes from other people that makes the whole experience more vibrant and interesting."

Morris also teased plans for potential third installments of Pixar's Incredibles and Finding Nemo franchises as part of its strategy to balance original movies — like Elio, out next summer — with more spinoffs and sequels like Toy Story 5, dated for June 2026. Inside Out 2 opens only in theaters June 14.