The Walt Disney Co. revamped its movie release plans on Tuesday, postponing many of its biggest films and announcing that "Black Widow" will be broadcast on Disney + the same day it hits theaters.
"Black Widow," the highly anticipated Marvel superhero film starring Scarlett Johansson, whose release was postponed due to the pandemic last year, was due to premiere in newly opened theaters on May 7th and usher in the traditional summer blockbuster season. Instead, Disney has postponed its release to July 9th, announcing that it can be streamed the same day for Disney + subscribers for an additional Premier Access fee of $ 30, similar to the release of “Mulan "Last year and" Raya and the Last Dragon "earlier this month.
While cinemas are hoping for big business as they reopen after months of shutdown due to coronavirus restrictions, the Black Widow streaming option signals that Disney is
secures his bets if moviegoers don't return to the cinemas immediately. Disney movies – and Marvel releases in particular – have traditionally been cinema's most bankable bets.
"Today's announcement reflects our focus on providing consumers with choice and meeting the changing preferences of audiences," said Kareem Daniel, chairman of Disney's Media & Entertainment Distribution, in a statement. "By leveraging a flexible sales strategy in a dynamic marketplace that is gradually starting to recover from the global pandemic, we will continue to leverage the best of options to bring the Walt Disney Company's unparalleled storytelling to fans and families around the world."
Disney will instead kick off the summer with "Cruella," a live-action spin-off "101 Dalmatians" starring Emma Stone, which will debut on both Disney + Premier Access and theaters on May 28th. Pixar's animated "Luca" will be streamed at no additional charge to Disney + subscribers starting June 18, much like Pixar's "Soul" debuted in December.
Disney has also postponed Free Guy releases (May 21 to August 13); "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" (July 9th to August 3rd); "Deep Water" (from August 13 to January 2022); "The King's Man" (from August 20 to December 2022); and "Death on the Nile" (September 17 to February 2022).
Disney's switch came hours after AT&T.
Warner Bros. said it will bring its 2022 film series straight to theaters. Warner messed up Hollywood's business model last year when he announced that he would stream his 2021 films on HBO Max for 31 days on the same day they open in theaters. Warner said Tuesday that his 2022 films will only be in theaters for 45 days before they can be streamed.
Cineworld Group Plc.
It was also announced on Tuesday that it would reopen its Regal Theater in April for the first time in six months. Last week AMC
99% of US cinemas are expected to open by March 26th.