Disney’s next six films won’t be on Disney Plus first (Picture: 20th Century Studios/Disney/Marvel)
Disney has announced that its remaining 2021 film releases, including Marvel’s Eternals, will all debut exclusively in cinemas before being available at home via streaming.
The company recently defended its simultaneous release strategy of the past year as it sought to stem box office financial woes brought on by the pandemic closing cinemas worldwide.
For big films including Cruella, Mulan, Jungle Cruise and Black Widow, Disney made them available day and date of their theatrical release on Disney Plus for an additional £19.99 fee.
However, the company has now acted off the back of ‘improving confidence in moviegoing’ and decided that The Last Duel, starring Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Jodie Comer, animation Ron’s Gone Wrong, Marvel’s next release Eternals, Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story remake, and The King’s Man will all receive 45-day exclusive run in cinemas.
The Last Duel and Ron’s Gone Wrong are both scheduled for October 15 UK releases, Eternals is slated for November 5, West Side Story will hit cinemas on December 10, and The King’s Man will follow up on December 22.
Disney’s festive animated flick Encanto will receive a 30-day theatrical window ahead of its November 26 release.
Following Shang-Chi, Eternals will also be released in cinemas first(Picture: Marvel)
Encanto is the studio’s festive family release (Picture: Disney)
Disney is also releasing the West Side Story remake (Picture: 20th Century Studios)
Kareem Daniel, Chairman, Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution said: ‘Following the tremendous box office success of our summer films which included five of the top eight domestic releases of the year, we are excited to update our theatrical plans for the remainder of 2021.
‘As confidence in moviegoing continues to improve, we look forward to entertaining audiences in theatres, while maintaining the flexibility to give our Disney Plus subscribers the gift of Encanto this holiday season.’
The success of recent Marvel hit Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which opened only in cinemas on September 3, may well have sealed the deal in convincing Disney that fans were once again seeking out the big screen experience.
The Last Duel premiered at Venice Film Festival on September 10 (Picture: 20th Century Studios)
Ralph Fiennes stars in historical Kingsman spin-off The King’s Man (Picture: 20th Century Studios)
The blockbuster took in $127.6m (£92m) globally in its first weekend in cinemas.
The news is sure to delight Marvel chief Kevin Feige, who previously declared his studio’s films were ‘meant to be seen on the big screen’.
Marvel and Black Widow actress Scarlett Johansson was also not a fan of Disney’s previous simultaneous release strategy.
She initiated legal action against the company in July for breach of contract, arguing that her agreement guaranteed an exclusive theatrical release and she had been deprived of potential earnings.
Shang-Chi debuted in cinemas to a good box office performance (Picture: Jasin Boland)
Industry figures stepped in to criticise Disney’s response to Johansson’s filing, which they had called ‘a callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the Covid-19 pandemic’.
Johansson’s Marvel co-star Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays Dr Strange, is the latest star to speak out on the lawsuit, which he branded ‘a bit of a mess’.
Credit: Original article published here.