Earlier this year, Disney announced its next animated film, “Strange World”, would be skipping a theatrical release in France and heading straight to Disney+. This is happening because earlier this year, the French authorities introduced a new rule for new films being released in France, which has protective laws in place to protect French TV and streaming platforms.
The new rules in place in France mean that any new theatrical release in France is required to have a four-month theatrical exclusive, before being available to purchase. Then at six months, they are available on Canal+. Seventeen months after its initial release, a film can be released on Disney+ for five months before being removed to air on free-to-air channels for a further 14 months, before returning to Disney+ after three years since its initial release. Netflix and Amazon have agreed to these terms. However, Disney has not.
According to Le Film Francais via Booska-P, Disney is considering doing the same for Marvel’s “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”, cancelling a theatrical release and releasing the film onto Disney+. In a translated statement, Disney said:
“The media timeline forces us to evaluate our theatrical releases film by film. We have not yet made a decision on the release of Black Panther.”
Disney has released “Thor: Love & Thunder” and “Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness” in cinemas, but unlike in the rest of the world, the films can’t be added to Disney+ for years.
If the film does skip a theatrical release, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”, might not necessarily arrive on Disney+ on the same date as when the film hits cinemas globally.
Cinema owners have been vocal about the problems with the French rules, as the way films are distributed has changed over the last few years, especially with studios having their own streaming services and wanting full control over its content.
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” is due to be released in cinemas around the world on November 11th 2022, and could arrive on Disney+ in time for Christmas, or Disney may wait until the New Year, if it follows a similar path it took with previous Marvel Studios films.
Do you think “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” should skip a theatrical release in France?
Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom.