Disney’s Day-And-Date ‘Black Widow’ and ‘Cruella’ decision sends shockwaves – Deadline

It is extremely ironic that on the same day when Warner Bros. throws in the towel on its HBO Max theatrical release plan (for 2022), Disney would be taking one of their most anticipated Marvel movies, Black Widow, and move it to a Disney + PVOD theatrical plan day and day after the muted performances of Mulan, soul, and Raya and the last dragon on the service.

“It’s a little mind-boggling what the executives at Disney are doing, and one wonders if anyone who knows anything about the movie industry is calling the shots over there,” one top exhibitor told Deadline Today. hui, β€œIt’s all reminiscent of the Rich Ross era. “

Black Widow
Marvel Studios

Disney’s decision to make two of the summer’s biggest event movies –Cruella and Black Widow- to a theatrical plan β€” Disney + Premier (at an additional $ 30 per pop for subscribers) created several headaches for the show, just as they were looking to bounce back from the reopening of New York and Los Angeles.

Disney shifts ‘Black Widow’ and ‘Cruella’ to day and date release in theaters and Disney +, at Jarring summer box office

If that wasn’t bad, then today’s next news was even more devastating: Disney decided to take Pixar Luca completely off the theatrical schedule and send it to Disney + for free over the Father’s Day weekend, June 18-20, subtracting a huge amount of money from theaters during that time.

Putting themselves in the shoes of Disney executives, they are clearly in an experimental mode as the pandemic subsides. Rather than taking a slate of an entire year and putting it on a streaming service like WarnerMedia with HBO Max, Disney is doing it incrementally. It’s an understatement to say they’re completely enamored with streaming and the impact it has on their share price: Disney peaked at $ 192.34 before closing at $ 188.73.

Falcon / Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) at Marvel Studios ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’
Disney +

The only way for the studio to know if this ambitious theatrical-Disney + Premier experiment will work is if they implement it with a movie they’ve got the wares on, and that’s with branded rates like Black Widow and Cruella. The studio announced yesterday that the first episode of Marvel The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was their most watched ever in a weekend, beating all the other weekend premieres in the series. Samba TV’s survey of land-based smart TVs confirms Disney’s claim that 1.7 million people watched the Anthony Mackie-Sebastian Stan series in its first five minutes (besting WandaVision1.6 M). Again, the horrible news for the exhibit is that Disney can keep every Disney Premier dollar from Black Widow and Cruella.

The other obvious sign that Black Widow had to move is that a majority of foreign markets remain closed, including Europe and Latin America, even though Asia has reopened. Studio executives look at the releases of these films from a global perspective, and on the tents where piracy might be a problem, they cannot stagger these films by month.

Yet, all of that being said, it’s hard to find anyone today, either at an exhibit or at a rival studio, who says something nice about Disney.

But, come on, Disney …

Seriously, you decided to move Black Widow (and Cruella) on Disney + Premier now ??

This Marvel movie has been hung in front of the exhibit, which announced it to its shareholders as one of the great potential box office saviors, and now will the circuits compete with Disney’s streaming service for eyeballs. ? Disney, you mean such release date decisions couldn’t be made when we were in the midst of the pandemic rather than when we were coming out of it?

Think what a blow this represents for Cineworld and its American counterpart Regal: here they announce their reopening on April 1, probably banking on Black Widow May 7. Now the opening summer title is delayed and with a distribution model that isn’t necessarily exhibitor-friendly.

Disney was in dire straits today with its distribution maneuvers, and that only creates more distrust among exhibits when it comes to Mouse House promises or openings.


While Cinemark, Harkins and Canada’s Cineplex, among other exhibitors, refused to play Raya and the last dragon on Disney’s refusal to move on rental conditions, many sources tell us it will be more difficult this time around on Black Widow and Cruella. Theater owners are between a rock and a hard place. The risk of not playing ball with Disney could negatively impact their conditions in the long run.

The only way Disney’s plans would be drastically scaled back is if AMC, Regal, and Cinemark together decided not to play. Black Widow and Cruella. However, AMC is expected to buy into Disney’s plan. Unlike AMC and Cinemark’s deal with Universal, they get a portion of the PVOD revenue from these titles when they leave the movie market. Disney, as far as we know, is not sharing its Disney + revenue pie. Conditions reported by Disney with exhibition for Raya were a two-week minimum game with a scale that starts at a 50% rental if the movie ultimately makes between $ 0 and $ 37.5 million, then 51% if the National Raw Finals between $ 37.5 million and $ 50 million.

From a Disney POS, the public does not have to stay at home, they can watch these movies in a theater. Not to mention, it’s a better deal for the show than having a Warner Bros. title that’s available for free to HBO Max subscribers. That said, Warner, unlike Disney, has been kind to exposure on their rental terms and promises a light at the end of the tunnel with a 45-day theatrical window before HBO Max on its headlines next year, as we do. told you for the first time. .

A quiet place II

Black WidowThe May 7-July 9 move also leaves the summer box office season unarmed to start and brings the start of the period back to its former Memorial Day weekend playground, where Paramount’s A Quiet Place, Part II and Cruella face. Many distributors tell me this morning that an event film is unlikely to be moved until the first weekend in May given the short lead time for marketing departments to release materials, let alone foreign market closures. Some exhibitors believe that a studio like Paramount which has A Quiet Place, Part II already lined up could probably go up and take the first weekend in May given all the promotion that has been going on for the film since last year.

Now there might be a bright spot for some Disney studios taking Black Widow and Cruella at Disney + Premier and in theaters.

“They’re not as threatening as they used to be,” a distribution executive said today. Taking into account the result of Disney’s earnings on Raya ($ 23.4 million to date), it was clear that the studio had not spent a fortune on marketing. If so for Cruella and Black Widow, especially as Disney looks to push more people towards its streaming service, the prospects of following the opening weekend of either movie are not as daunting as they once were.

Other impacts Disney’s release date changes are set to have on the theatrical release schedule: with long-delayed action comedy Ryan Reynolds Free Guy running from August 13 through May 21, it’s clear that the actor’s Lionsgate sequel Hitman’s Bodyguard 2 August 20 will move.

Plus, since when is Labor Day weekend a huge movie season? Principle didn’t prove this last year, so it’s doubtful that Marvel Shang-Chi and the legend of the ten rings sticks to that date. Unless Disney has another Disney + Premier theatrical move in its back pocket.

Reynold’s hysterical reaction to Free GuyChange of release date today on Twitter:

Despite any exposure of good news received overnight from Warner Bros. and Cineworld / Regal’s decision to stick to the theatrical window for 2022, it is clear that the film industry is not yet fully out of this pandemic and has not yet finished playing with windows.

Here’s what Disney’s release schedule looks like for the rest of the year with today’s date changes noted:

May 28 – Cruella (theaters and Disney + Premier)

July 9th – Black Widow (theaters and Disney + Premier, moved from May 7)

July 16 – The night house (Projector)

July 30 – Jungle cruise

August 13 – Free Guy (20th, moved from May 21)

August 27 – The Beatles: Get Back

Sep 3 – Shang-Chi and the legend of the ten rings (moved from July 9)

Sep 24 – Tammy Faye’s eyes (Projector)

October 15 – The last duel (20th)

October 22 – Ron went wrong (20th)

October 29 – Wood (Projector)

November 5 – Marvel’s The Eternals

November 24 – Encanto

Dec 3 – Nightmare alley (Projector)

Dec 10 – West Side Story (20th / Amblin)

Dec 22 – The king’s man (20th, moved from August 20)

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