While the global pandemic has major studios scuttling between release strategies, Disney CEO Bob Chapek maintains that their next major release ‘Black Widow’ is still set for a theatrical opening, despite rumours that the movie may get a Premier Access release on streaming platform Disney+.
However, “we’ll be watching to see the reopening of theatres and consumer sentiment in terms of going back to theatre” said Chapek on the studio’s FYQ1 earnings call.
‘Black Widow’ is currently scheduled to kick off summer movies on May 7. The highly-anticipated movie, led by Scarlett Johansson, was initially set to kick-off the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase 4, but has seen multiple delays over the last year due to Covid-19.
And because there’s been little to no change in the Covid-19 situation in the United States, chances are likely that the release date will be pushed again.
According to Variety, a call on ‘Black Widow’s’ release date should be made in the next “three to four weeks.” This information was part of the outlet’s coverage on upcoming summer 2021 movies that will probably be delayed, including ‘Black Widow’ and ‘F9’.
According to Deadline, Chapek was also asked about the success of ‘Soul’ in relation to ‘Mulan’. The former Pixar movie went straight to the streaming service (with foreign theatrical distribution) on Christmas Day, while the latter was a premium Disney+ play in the US (with an offshore Asia release).
Chapek didn’t reveal any viewership figures for ‘Soul’, but said, “we thought it was a nice thing to do for the consumers and subscriber base”.
As for ‘Mulan’, Chapek said “it was successful to the extent that we’re also using that strategy on ‘Raya and the Last Dragon’.”
‘Raya’, which dropped its trailer at the Super Bowl show, will be available on Disney+ for a premium rate in the US and will also get a domestic and international theatrical release.