In a shift away from simultaneous releases, Disney has announced that the rest of its 2021 movies will get an exclusive, although shortened, theatrical release window.
Disney has said repeatedly that its decision to do same-day movie premieres in theaters and on Disney+ Premier Access was about giving consumers a choice. Evidently, profit trumps choice.
- "Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution today announced plans for exclusive theatrical release windows for the remainder of its 2021 slate of films," the company announced in a press release.
Disney cites the "tremendous box office success" of new movies released this summer combined with growing confidence in moviegoing as reasons for its about-turn. It is plausible that Scarlett Johansson's lawsuit may also have played a role.
- "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," said Kareem chairman, formand, Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution. "As confidence in moviegoing continues to improve, we look forward to entertaining audiences in theaters, while maintaining the flexibility to give our Disney+ subscribers the gift of Encanto this holiday season."
The upcoming animated musical feature Encanto will have a reduced 30-day exclusive theatrical window. It will arrive in theaters on November 24 before it hits Disney+ on December 24.
Disney's other 2021 releases will have a minimum 45-day exclusive theatrical window:
The Last Duel on October 15, 2021
Ron’s Gone Wrong on October 22, 2021
Eternals on November 5, 2021
West Side Story on December 10, 2021
The King’s Man on December 22, 2021
- Source: Disney