The pandemic has thrown a wrench in the theatrical plans for many movie studios. Not the least of which being Disney. They’ve attempted to combat this by pushing blockbusters ahead with hopes of capturing a greater profit. And they have also done a dual release for some of their films such as “Mulan” and “Raya And The Last Dragon”. A caveat being, those films will be under “Premier access”. Which means existing or new Disney+ subscribers will have to pay a $30 charge to access those “premium” films. And it seems now that Disney finally bit the bullet and will be doing the same for Black Widow.
After pushing the release back numerous times, Disney has finally decided to nail down a date and a release strategy. President of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige, had wanted Black Widow to be a full on theatrical release. But with the uncertainty that the pandemic has brought, Disney is eager to get a return on their latest Marvel film. This means a dual release for “Black Widow”. Which is currently set for July 9th, instead of formally being May 7th.
This wasn’t the only film affected either. “Shang Chi And The Legend of the Ten Rings”, which is another Marvel property that was set to release in July has been delayed to September 3rd. And another Disney property such as “Cruella”, starring Emma Stone will follow a similar release strategy. And although it will keep it’s date, “Cruella” will debut in theaters and on Disney+ under the $30 rental fee.
NON DUAL RELEASE FILMS
Other properties have also been delayed, but for these films, Disney is keeping it exclusively theatrical. And while Disney have adjusted certain plans and have decided to release the animated feature “Luca”, exclusively on Disney+ without any additional pay. Disney have stuck to their guns and will release “Fall Guy”, “Death of the Nile”, and “Deep Water”, exclusively in theaters.
FUTURE OF THEATRICAL AND STREAMING
It’ll be interesting to see how this pans out for Disney+. They’ve been experimenting a lot with their release strategy. While other companies like HBOMAX have committed to the dual release strategy for every 2021 release at no additional cost, Disney seems to be playing around with what works. With films such as “Raya And The Last Dragon” raking in just under $100 million, Disney doesn’t want similar results for their other films. Especially since theaters are only barely opening up with up to 25% capacity.
The future is uncertain when it comes to theatrical and streaming releases, but Disney has certainly put in their bid for their future plans. Whether it works out or not remains to be seen. Disney has been very vague about their success recently. And with certain films releasing with a $30 premium charge then a month later being free on the service, many don’t feel the need to pay for that premium charge. But Black Widow is a Marvel Studios property, so who knows if this strategy will work. We shall see…
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