Shang-Chi and Free Guy Will Be Released Exclusively In Theaters For First Month
During this afternoon’s earnings call, Disney CEO Bob Chapek announced that Disney is starting to rethink its movie release strategy as more and more moviegoers are getting vaccinated.
With this in mind, Chapek revealed that both Marvel Studios’ “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” and 20th Century’s “Free Guy” will run exclusively in theaters for the first 45 days before shifting to video on demand and streaming.
Though on the surface this sounds like renewed confidence in the theater industry, Variety points out that this cuts in half the traditional 90-day exclusive window that had been the industry standard for cinematic releases before the pandemic.
Shang-Chi will open on September 3, 2021 and Free Guy on August 13, 2021. These will be the first purely theatrical releases since “The New Mutants” was released last year.
Since then, Disney has sent many new films straight to Disney+ including the Oscar-Award-Winning Soul as will be the case with Pixar’s next feature Luca on June 17th.
With other major films, Disney has opted to release movies in theaters and on streaming simultaneously. This has been the case with Mulan and the trend will continue with Cruella (May 28th), Black Widow (July 9th) and Jungle Cruise (July 30th.) In these instances Disney has and will continue to charge subscribers an additional Premium Access fee of $29.99 per household to view each of the films.
Disney is erring on the side of caution as it looks toward the future of movie releases. Chapek said that he sees “recent signs of increased confidence in Moviegoing” which was behind the decision to release Free Guy and Shang-Chi in theaters first. However, the CEO went on to advise that going forward Disney will continue to offer hybrid new releases as the world comes out of the pandemic.
“Flexibility is a key component of our distribution strategy,” Chapek said.
For now Disney movie fans will continue to find different films released in different ways but we’ll do our best here at MickeyBlog to keep you posted!
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