‘Black Widow’ Still Eyeing a Theater Exclusive Release

Ever since Warner Bros. dropped the bombshell that all their 2021 releases will be available via HBO Max, all eyes were on Disney if they would follow suit. Black Widow was among the many films that got delayed. Many were hoping it would take a Premier Access route just like Mulan did. Sadly, it seems it didn’t pan out with the additional paywall, so they postponed the film further into 2021. We were only a few weeks away from its initial release, and now we still have five months ahead of us. Tomorrow’s Investor’s Day had us think we will get a confirmation on how they’ll move forward with the film, and it looks like the New York Times might’ve gotten their hands on some curious details.

They confirm that Disney might be splitting their projects into different categories. Big-budget films, such as Black Widow, will remain as theater exclusive releases while minor projects are heading online. Their primary focus remains to strengthen Disney+, which might be their most lucrative venture in these trying times. Of course, a streaming service is a long-term investment, so analysts don’t expect it to become profitable until 2024. Just this year, they had a loss of $2.8 billion in their direct-to-consumer division, which will only peak in 2022 until the rollout costs decline. It isn’t an easy venture, so growing the subscriber numbers at a rapid rate can help that cause.

So, why not add Black Widow to streaming? Well, if, and that is a big if, the pandemic slows down by that point, they can make more money through a theatrical release. Plus, they can use it to support their streaming service as eight Marvel shows are planned to expand the Marvel Cinematic Universe. WandaVision releases in January, so its success could also change the direction potentially. NYT also points out that Premier Access isn’t lost but might return in some form or another. It makes sense, as they did invest money for the branding and programming to utilize this service. We will get an official word tomorrow, but it looks like we’ll still have to wait until we get to revisit Natasha’s story in May.

Source: NY Times

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