Disney Looks to Push Release Dates Back for 2020 Movies
By Cooper Dowd, Staff Writer
Despite the release of TENET in theaters and Mulan’s release on the streaming service Disney+, studios are opting to push movie release dates further into the future.
Movieguide® previously reported on how the exhibition industry would react to and compare the different release strategies of Warner Bros. and Disney:
However, with TENET and MULAN acting as the “guinea pigs” for the success of Hollywood tentpole releases in a struggling domestic market, it is inevitable that analysts will draw a comparison between the two studios’ strategies.
But John Reed, co-producer of MULAN, claims that the comparison between the two releases’ levels of success is not straightforward.
“I think one of the difficulties going forward is going to be how we set the metrics for success,” Reed told YahooFinance. “I’m used to: Monday morning, you open the trades, $100 million opening, and everybody knows you won… We’re not going to have that.”
Disney released their plans to delay fall blockbusters such as Marvel’s BLACK WIDOW and postponed Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of WEST SIDE STORY for a full year.
Disney’s recalibration during the pandemic is concerning for box office revenue. According to Variety, analysts predict that Disney’s docket changes guarantee a box office plunge. Overall, revenue could decline by up to 70-80% due to months of closure.
Surprisingly, Disney did not opt to release their upcoming family-oriented Pixar movie SOUL over their streaming service like MULAN and ARTEMIS FOWL but will hold its original release date of November 6. Disney has not released total grossing numbers for their other “straight to streaming” movies.
Due to the Marvel movies’ linked universe, the delay of BLACK WIDOW means that the other superhero movies will be pushed back too.
Although theaters are reopening with the help of Christopher Nolan’s TENET, the possibility that there will be no new blockbuster movies to show could result in no improvement for exhibitors or the market as a whole.