Disney still isn't going to debut Black Widow on Disney Plus, sticking to its guns on a theatrical release on May 7. The movie, alongside several other Marvel projects, had to be pushed back into 2021 due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Disney CEO Bob Chapek implied that the company is keeping its options open depending on the availability of theaters across the US, though.
As part of an investor’s call, Chapek said: “We are still intending for it to be a theatrical release.” He also added: “We are going to be watching very carefully to see whether that strategy needs to be revisited.”
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Caught in a spider web
Chapek’s comments don't entirely rule out the possibility of Black Widow coming to Disney Plus down the line, then. Clearly, the next few months will be crucial, as vaccines roll out across the world, and theaters start to figure out what a comeback plan looks like.
Black Widow was meant to release in Spring 2020, before being bumped down the release schedule to the currently slated May 7. Other Marvel projects, like The Eternals, suffered a similar delay, with that movie being pushed back further to November 5. The Eternals was first delayed to February 2021, after its originally intended release date of November 6 2020.
With an end to the pandemic still being uncertain, Disney might want to keep its options open with regards to its lucrative streaming service. Black Widow is rumored to tie in to this year's Hawkeye series, with Florence Pugh apparently set to reprise her role as Yelena Belova – maybe that starts looking complicated if another year goes by without its release. This is the drawback of having an interconnected universe.
Disney Plus has been a huge success for the company. With big-name franchises like Marvel, Star Wars and Pixar under its umbrella, its shows and movies have boosted subscription numbers close to 100 million.
This strong performance was led largely by debuts on the Disney Plus platform, including The Mandalorian and Pixar’s Soul. Clearly, aiming high with its big brands is cementing Disney Plus as a competitive rival to the likes of Netflix and Amazon’s Prime Video.
We'll just have to wait and see on Black Widow.
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