Disney to Evaluate New Releases on ‘Case-By-Case Basis’
By Allyson Vannatta, Senior Writer
Disney CEO Bob Chapek said that the media company will evaluate new theatrical releases on a case by case basis once theaters open.
“We very much believe in the value of the theatrical experience overall to launch blockbuster movies,” Chapek said.
Major studios such as Warner Brothers and Paramount have moved release dates to later in the year, or to 2021 due to the coronavirus.
Some studios have even thrown out a theatrical release all together and sent movies straight to streaming.
However, The Walt Disney Company says each of their movies set to release will be carefully evaluated moving forward.
“As you know we had seven $1 billion films in calendar 2019, but we also realized that either because of changing and evolving consumer dynamics, or because of certain situations like Covid, we may have to make some changes to that overall strategy just because theaters aren’t open, or aren’t open to the extent that anybody needs to be financially viable. So we’re going to evaluate each one of our movies on a case by case situation, as we are doing right now, during this coronavirus situation.”
This comment comes shortly after AMC Theaters and NBCUniversal had a “dust-up” over the studios comments about releasing movies at the same time on digital and in theaters.
Disney has only one title, ARTEMIS FOWL, that’s going straight to its streaming service Disney+. It’s set to land on the service June 12.
As of May 4th, Disney now has 54.5 million subscribers on Disney+, which is more than double from their February 2020 numbers.
But so far the rest of the company’s movies will see the light of day on the big screen.
“All our other tent-pole movies have been rescheduled theatrically later in year so we very much believe in the power of that launch platform for our big movies,” Chapek said.
The big test for Disney will come on July 24th when MULAN (2020) hits theaters. As long as the schedule stays the same, MULAN will be the second title to hit the big screen when theaters open back up.
Warner Bros.’ TENET, from director Christopher Nolan, is set to open July 17th.
“There’s a competitive movie that opens up one week before our film does and at that point we’re hoping that there’s some return to semblance of normal in terms of number of screens that are opening and number of show times for those movies,” Chapek said.
He added, “So, our fingers are crossed.”
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