While reports show that consumer confidence in returning to theaters is growing, studios are still hesitant to premiere major releases solely on the big screen. Disney is one of the latest studios to adopt the model of simultaneously releasing films on streaming service and in theaters.
Disney has just announced date changes for 7 of its upcoming films. The studio has also confirmed it plans to release Black Widow and Cruella simultaneously on Disney+ and in theaters. Black Widow, previously scheduled to premiere on May 7, has been pushed back two months and will now premiere on July 9. Disney’s latest live-action film, Cruella, will arrive on schedule on May 28. Both films will be available for home viewing on Disney+ through Premiere Access, at a rental cost of $30 per film.
The change to Black Widow’s release has had a domino effect, pushing back Marvel’s current slate of new movies set to premiere this year. Now, Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which was set to release in July, has been bumped back to September 3.
In other news, the upcoming Pixar animated film, Luca, will not premiere in theaters and instead will be accessible exclusively on Disney+, with no extra fee.
Here are the new premiere dates for upcoming Disney releases:
Free Guy → August 3
The King’s Man → December 22
Deep Water → January 14, 2022
Death on the Nile → February 11, 2022
The chairman of Disney Media and Entertainment distribution, Kareem Daniel, said this about the change:
“By leveraging a flexible distribution strategy in a dynamic marketplace that is beginning to recover from the global pandemic, we will continue to employ the best options to deliver The Walt Disney Company’s unparalleled storytelling to fans and families around the world.”
What do you think of the latest round of delays? Will you watch Black Widow on Disney+ or in theaters?