Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Disney Plus date confirmed — and it’s bad news

(L - R): Winston Duke as M'Baku, Lupita Nyong'o as Nakia, Letitia Wright as Shuri, Angela Basset as Ramonda and Danai Gurira as Okoye in key art for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
(Image credit: Marvel)

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will be hitting Disney Plus on Wednesday, February 1, 2023. The film's much-anticipated streaming release has been quietly announced via a new landing page that confirms its launch on the platform is just four weeks away (spotted by Comicbook)

While it’s great to finally have a date for when we can start streaming Black Panther: Wakanda Forever on Disney Plus the first day of February is a little later than expected. A previous rumour had suggested the follow-up to 2018’s Black Panther would hit Disney’s streaming service on January 20, which would have been 70 days from its theatrical debut on November 11, 2022. Instead, the blockbuster flick will actually begin streaming 82 days after its release in cinemas. 

Black Panther Wakanda Forever landing page on Disney Plus displaying its release date of February 1, 2023

(Image credit: Disney)

This is a slightly longer window between theatrical release and streaming release that the rest of Marvel’s 2022 slate. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness arrived on Disney Plus after just 51 days, whereas Thor: Love and Thunder was available to stream after 60 days. However, other Marvel movies have also taken longer to hit Disney Plus such as Eternals (68 days) and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (70 days), but fans eager to watch (or rewatch) Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will have to endure one of the longest waits yet. 

It’s a little surprising that Disney has opted for a longer gap between theatrical release and streaming for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever considering Disney Plus’ January release schedule is looking sparse. In fact, there’s such a dearth of new content that our streaming editor recommends you cancel Disney Plus this month. The streaming release of a major Marvel movie would have given subscribers an incentive to stick around, but as it stands there’s little on Disney Plus to be excited about in January. 

Of course, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is still proving popular at the global box office and to date has raked in more than $800 million worldwide. Its odds of joining the billion-dollar club look slim, but Disney will be hoping to squeeze out some final box office juice in the coming weeks before the movie hits streaming and gracefully leaves theatres for good. 

When Black Panther: Wakanda Forever does finally land on Disney Plus next month it’ll be worth well watching (or rewatching). In our glowing review, we labeled the film “a tour de force that gets the MCU back on track” with particular praise for its powerful handling of the untimely passing of star Chadwick Boseman. Plus, Angela Bassett and Letitia Wright deliver amazing performances and Marvel newcomer RiRi Williams might be our favorite new MCU character in ages.  

Nevertheless, it’s been a somewhat challenging few months for Marvel as complaints of comic-book movie fatigue have grown louder. However, looking ahead to the list of upcoming MCU movies and shows, 2023 looks set to be a big year for the inter-connected franchise with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania first up at bat on February 17. As for when that film will launch on Disney Plus, we’d expect to see it start streaming sometime in the summer. 

Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.