Despite moves made in regard to other major releases, a Disney CEO has reiterated that there are currently no plans to debut Black Widow on Disney+.
Black Widow is slated for a theatrical release in May 2021, a full year after it was originally intended to hit cinemas. The ongoing pandemic has led to movie theaters being closed around the world, resulting in multiple delays for almost every blockbuster scheduled to hit the big screen between March 2020 and today. Despite there being no definite end in sight, Disney is still deadset on releasing Black Widow exclusively in theaters.
Disney CEO Bob Chapek revealed as much during an investor call this week. “I’m going to go back to the word flexibility… We are still intending it to be a theatrical release,” were Chapek’s exact words. In 2020, Disney released the live-action remake of Mulan on its streaming service, charging extra at first and then adding it for everyone else near the end of the year.
The reluctance to follow in Mulan’s footsteps with Black Widow suggests its Disney+ release wasn’t as fruitful as the movie’s creators might have hoped. Another option is to go down the Wonder Woman 1984 route. In December 2020, Warner Bros. released the movie in the limited number of theaters that had reopened as well as HBO Max at the same time.
Disney clearly doesn’t seem sold on that idea either, but it is going to have to do something if the pandemic doesn’t let up soon. The entire MCU schedule has been pushed back and reshuffled on multiple occasions over the course of the past ten months. Marvel fans should have seen not only Black Widow by this point, but also The Eternals, and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Today (February 12, 2021) was the original release date for Shang-Chi before multiple delays.
Marvel and Disney have more to worry about than the MCU schedule too. Aside from a small handful of movies that have managed to squeeze into theaters or been released on streaming services, all major titles are being continually pushed back. Most weekends in 2021 are already scheduled to be jam-packed with blockbusters with which Black Widow will have to compete. Not to mention how willing potential movie-goers will or won’t be to return to cinemas, even after the rollout of vaccinations.
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