Disney is being harshly criticized for removing Avatar from its Disney Plus library.
Avatar appeared on the streaming service after Disney acquired Fox, and many decided to watch James Cameron’s 2009 blockbuster ahead of the sequel, which is due out in December.
However, it is shown that Avatar has been removed and is no longer available to stream on the service anywhere in the world.
Although unconfirmed, the reason for its deletion is said to be that Avatar hits theaters, before the sequel, on September 23.
Many are calling Disney out for pulling the film without telling people, in what is being described as a money-driven move designed to get more people to buy tickets to see the film on the big screen. The move was called both “stupid” and “worrying” by Twitter users.
“So @disneyplus removed #Avatar. I’m sure this has absolutely nothing to do with its impending re-release in theaters,” one person wrote, while another added, “They want to force you to watch it in a THEATER.
While many praised the cinematic experience, it was pointed out that while users are paying a monthly fee for Disney Plus, the choice should be in their hands where they watch the movie.
Others took the opportunity to stress the importance of owning the film on DVD or Blu-ray.
“Disney Plus took off AvatarI guess they are going to re-release in theaters and that just goes to show the importance of owning physical media,” one person suggested.
AvatarThe re-release of will see the film extend its position as the highest-grossing film in the world.
The film, which reclaimed the crown from Avengers: Endgame following a re-release in China, currently has worldwide box office receipts of $2.85bn (£2.4bn).
Avengers: Endgame takes second place with $2.8bn (£2.35bn).
Avatar will be released in theaters on September 23, with sequel Avatar: The Way of the Waterarrived on December 16.
The Independent has contacted Disney for comment.