The next big movie release on Disney’s movie calendar is Marvel’s “Black Widow”, which is due to be released in cinemas on May 7th. This film has already been delayed twice, it was originally due to be released last May, before shifting to November, but since the pandemic wasn’t any better, Disney pushed back to this May.
While cinemas have been opening up across California and New York this week for the first time since early last year, there are still some major problems for theatrical releases, since not enough people are returning to cinemas. Still, the weekly box office numbers are increasing as more people are willing to go, especially if they’ve been vaccinated.
Following the release of “Raya and the Last Dragon” earlier this month, which was the first film to get a simultaneous Disney+ Premier Access and theatrical release, many have been wondering if “Black Widow” will follow a similar path.
During a Bloomberg interview with Disney CEO Bob Chapek, who spoke about the reopening of Disneyland in California at the end of April, he was asked about the release of “Black Widow” in theatres and on Disney+ Premier Access.
In the interview, Bob Chapek continued to say that as the Pandemic is still causing problems around the world and how consumers are changing their viewing habits, such as becoming more impatient with regards to how long they are willing to wait for a new film and how they are responding to the Premier Access model.
Our situation and our conditions change. Just a few weeks ago, theaters in New York and Los Angeles weren’t even open. Now, all of a sudden they’re open, so we’re waiting to see how prospective theater goers respond to these reopenings. We’re going to remain flexible. We’ll make the call probably at the last minute in terms of how these films come to market, whether it’s Black Widow or any other title.
Bob Chapek has basically said that a Disney+ Premier Access release for “Black Widow” and other films, which probably include “Cruella” and “Luca”, will be made at the last minute. Unlike Warner Brothers and Universal, who have already laid out their plans for 2021, Disney seems to be much more hesitant on going all-in on Disney+ Premier Access and are still testing the waters.
“We love the theatrical window. We think it’s important for building our franchises. At the same time, we don’t think it’s the only way to do it. … We’ll see what happens over the next couple of months. So much is changing, it’s such a dynamic environment. It’s really hard to predict what’s going to happen with consumer behavior in the next month as it comes to re-emergence back into the world of normal. We’ll be watching the call carefully and make the call when we have to.”
Do you think Disney+ Premier Access should carry on?
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.