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 means 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.
This is why Disney has decided to skip all of that and will send “Strange World” directly to Disney+ in France instead.
“We believe that the media chronology is not consumer friendly, nor does it establish a balanced or proportionate framework between the various players in the French audiovisual ecosystem. This is especially frustrating as we have been increasing our investment in the creation of original French content while also supporting French cinema through our theatrical releases.”
It’s expected more major studios, including Disney, will simply skip theatrical releases in France for many of its upcoming films. This will impact the French movie business further, not just hurting cinemas, but a portion of the theatrical ticket price is also used to fund local production.
While the French government is trying to protect its film industry, it looks like it could backfire, especially as consumers have changed their habits extensively over the last decade and ultimately, studios want control over their own content now, rather than being told where it can be available.
Eric Marti, Comscore France’s general manager told Variety that if Disney decides to forgo the theatrical release of more movies and is followed by other studios, it could lead to a box office loss of 20 million admissions annually in France.
“With Warner and Paramount about to launch their streaming services in France, we could end up in the same situation if they follow the same path as Disney. The windowing model today around the world is a 45-day window between the theatrical release and SVOD. Studios spend tons of marketing money to promote their movies on a global scale; why would they want to wait 17 months to release their movies in France and spend extra marketing dollars on this market?”
“Strange World” is an original action-adventure that journeys deep into an uncharted and treacherous land where fantastical creatures await the legendary Clades, a family of explorers whose differences threaten to topple their latest—and by far— most crucial mission.
“Strange World” is Helmed by Don Hall (Oscar-winning “Big Hero 6,” “Raya and the Last Dragon”) and co-director/writer Qui Nguyen (co-writer “Raya and the Last Dragon”), and produced by Roy Conli (Oscar®-winning “Big Hero 6,” “Tangled”)
“StrangeWorld” releases in cinemas worldwide on November 23rd, 2022. No other Disney+ release date has yet been announced for other countries.
What do you think about “Strange World” skipping cinemas 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.