Evidence from both the Disney UK and Disney France websites may indicate that the company is rethinking their release strategy for Marvel Studios Black Widow. As seen below, both websites have removed the film’s release date from the respective pages for the film. They have also replaced posters for the film with ones that no longer show a date. Both websites have done the same with the pages for the upcoming Pixar film, Soul, which is currently scheduled to be released in theaters on November 20th.
Depending upon your perspective, this evidence could be interpreted in multiple ways if we throw out the chance that this is some sort of error on the part of the two websites. One possible interpretation is that Disney is preparing to offer Black Widow to audiences via Premier Access. Support for this hypothesis can be found by looking back at how events unfolded around Mulan’s shift to Premier Access. Much like what’s happening with Black Widow and Soul, the release date for Mulan was taken down from official Disney websites and replaced with “COMING SOON” just ahead of the official announcement that it would be premiering on Disney Plus. Many pundits believed Mulan would serve as the canary in the coal mine for the Disney PVOD release strategy and yesterday’s Yahoo report that the studio has already raked in $260M via Premier Access would seem to indicate a major success for their first effort. An argument could be made that Black Widow and the Marvel Studios banner could easily outdo that take.
Another possible interpretation is that Disney has made the decision to move Black Widow’s theatrical release from the November 6th date but have yet to pin down a new window. Earlier this week, a report by Deadline suggested that the company was preparing to do just that though they had no official word from Disney. The decision to move the film’s release date would be unsurprising given the disappointing box office returns for Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, which caused Warner Bros. to shift the release of another of their tentpole releases, Wonder Woman 1984, for a fifth time. At this point, nobody would blame Disney for moving the film to a time when more people will feel comfortable heading to theaters.
While we can’t be sure which, if either, of these interpretations of the evidence is the correct one, it does feel like some news about the release strategy for Black Widow is imminent. If and when that happens, we’ll be here to pass it on.