More Theatrical Films Could Be Flocking To Disney Plus
The Disney Plus streaming service has been making waves in recent time over how some films are arriving on the service sooner than expected. Frozen 2 arrived on Disney Plus months earlier than expected, while Onward arrived a month after its initial theatrical release.
The latest development from Disney is that Artemis Fowl will be arriving exclusively on Disney Plus in the future. The film was originally going to be released in theaters in late May, but the ongoing pandemic has made it impossible to figure when theaters will be open again.
Disney executive chairman and former CEO Bob Iger said in an interview with Barron’s that many other Disney films may appear on Disney Plus in the future. These include films from Fox and Searchlight, two entities Disney has control over, appearing on the Hulu platform that Disney also runs.
Iger says that there may be some additional movies coming to Disney Plus, but he has not made an announcement at this time. The move comes over concerns about whether movie theater chains will open or if independent theaters could survive. There’s also a worry about whether people will avoid going to theaters in the future out of fear.
What Films does Will Appear?
Iger did not give any hints over what films might appear on Disney Plus. He did say that major tentpole films like Black Widow or Mulan probably will not appear on the service anytime soon without appearing in theaters first.
Several films that were to appear in theaters this summer have experienced dramatic shifts in their release dates. Some of these delays were moved due to production delays in some films and the need to fill future calendar dates. But some of the delays have proven to be very significant.
The new film Free Guy was to appear on July 3, but it has been pushed back to December 11. Jungle Cruise was to appear on July 24, but it has been delayed to July 30, 2021. The move comes despite Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt, and others associated with the film promoting it recently. Bob’s Burgers: The Movie was also moved from July 17 to April 9, 2021.
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Some of the delays are mainly to avoid competition. Free Guy doesn’t have any real competition on December 11, but Top Gun: Maverick and new adaptations of Dune and West Side Story will appear shortly after.
These films are not expected to be released to Disney Plus anytime soon. These are considered to be vital films that could have significant box office draws.
The next theatrical release from Disney is the new animated film Soul, which will appear on June 19. Disney is currently counting on theaters opening up in June, thus giving Disney the opportunity to take advantage of an industry comeback. But if theaters remain closed, Soul will probably be delayed. The film comes from the Pixar studio, which means Disney may not be willing to push that film directly to a streaming platform.