Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (Sept. 3) and the Ryan Reynolds-led Free Guy (Aug. 30) and will be given a 45-day theatrical window before they VOD, thereby eliminating the former 90-day model, Deadline reports.
Jungle Cruise (July 30), Cruella (May 28), and Black Widow (July 9) are getting the simultaneous theater and Disney+ Premier option where subscribers can pay $30 to stream the title on the streaming service. The other alternative is the straight-to-Disney+ approach, which was how films like Soul and Hamilton were released. Pixar’s Luca will be the latest film to pivot in this direction on June 18.
Disney CEO Bob Chapek suggested during the company’s Q1 wrap-up earnings call that their upcoming titles will determine the theatrical strategy for 2022 and beyond, IndieWire reports. Even as the world appears to be crawling back towards some sort of normalcy, it remains to be seen if the movie theater industry will ever recover from the crippling impacts of the pandemic.
Last month, Godzilla vs. Kong provided the movie industry with a glimmer of hope for the future after earning $32 million in its opening weekend, and $48.5 million over a five-day span. Since then, no film has come close to that type of weekend haul. Insiders expect the summer slate to give studios a better idea of the trajectory of the theater industry, and Disney will use that timeframe to deploy three separate strategies to figure out how they want to release films going forward.
“Going beyond this fiscal year, we’ve not announced exactly what our strategy is going to be in terms of which titles will be theatrical plus Disney+ Premier Access, which ones will be direct to Disney+, or which ones will go to theaters, but know that we’ll continue to watch the evolution of the recovering of the theatrical marketplace and we’ll use that flexibility to make the right call at the right time,” Chapek said. “We’ve only called those films that are in this fiscal year because of the relatively fluid nature of the recovery of exhibition.”