During today’s quarterly financial results earnings call, Disney’s CEO Bob Chapek announced that two of this summers big blockbusters, “Free Guy” and “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” will be heading to cinemas first.

“Free Guy” will arrive in cinemas on 13th August 2021, and “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” will be released on 3rd September 2020.

These films will be available exclusively to theatres for 45 days, before being able to be released on other platforms such as Disney+ or on digital platforms to buy or rent.

During the Investor Call, Bob Chapek explained:

Flexibility is the key component of our distribution strategy. And we have outlined three approaches for distributing our films. Releases in Theatres with the simultaneous offering via Disney+ premier access release straight to Disney+, and traditional exclusive theatrical releases. Here’s how this translates to our tremendous upcoming film slate. Correll la will be released in Theatres via Disney+ premier access May 28.

Followed by Pixar’s “Luca” June 18. The highly anticipated Black Widow will be in Theatres and on Disney+ via premier access on July 9. And Disney’s jungle cruise, a hilarious adventure filled expedition will be available in Theatres and on Disney+ via premier access on July 30th. I’m pleased to announce today that recent signs of consumer confidence in movie going, two films, TWETH Century’s exciting comedy, and adventure — and the legend of the ten rings will be released with a 45-day window on August — and September 3rd respectively. Regardless of where they originate, all of our films and episodic series will end up as part of the robust library of content on our DTC platforms.

Before the pandemic, Walt Disney Studios films had a 90-day theatrical window, which means the window has been cut in half.   This should drastically increase how quickly a film can be released on Disney+.  Before the pandemic, new films could take 6 to 9 months from the theatrical release, before being added to Disney+.

Due to “Free Guy” being a 20th Century Studios release, it is still part of an existing deal with HBO.  So it will still have to be released on HBO Max before it can be released on Hulu or Disney+ in the United States.

Disney’s other big blockbusters, including “Cruella”, “Black Widow”, and “Jungle Cruise” will still be released in theatres and on Disney+ simultaneously.

What do you think of a 45-day theatrical window?


Roger Palmer

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. Email: Roger@WhatsOnDisneyPlus.com Twitter: Twitter.com/RogPalmerUK Facebook: Facebook.com/rogpalmeruk

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