Disney’s Remaining 2021 Films Will Be Released Only in Theaters

'Eternals'Credit: Disney
Things are finally looking like they did pre-pandemic, but is it for the better? 

Disney has announced that the remainder of its 2021 film slate will be released in theaters before it is available for streaming on Disney+.

This decision was made on Friday with a statement from Kareem Daniel, Disney’s Media & Entertainment Distribution Chairman, saying, “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 animated film Encanto is set for release Nov. 24.

This decision could be the light at the end of a tunnel that many movie theater owners were hoping for. Since the business started operating again during the COVID-19 pandemic, movie theatres have been struggling to bring in moviegoers which caused many theaters to shut their doors for good.

Part of the struggle happens to fall on the shoulders of the distributors releasing movies on streaming platforms on the same day as its theatrical release. Who would want to go to the movies when you can sit in the comfort of your own house instead?  

'Eternals'Credit: Disney
Disney’s choice to debut films exclusively in theaters can also be their response to the lawsuit filed by Scarlett Johansson at the end of July. Johansson claims there was a breach of contract when Disney released Black Widow on its streaming platform on the same day as its theatrical release, estimating about $50 million in lost revenue for Johansson, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Stars of A Quiet Place Part II faced a similar issue after the film was released on Paramount+ the same day as its theatrical release when theaters were operating at half-capacity. 

Instead of paying compensation for the film’s performance on the streaming service, it looks like some companies are returning to exclusive theatrical releases to avoid future lawsuits. Perhaps Disney and any other distribution companies with a streaming service will find a way to compensate their actors for the movie’s performance on their platforms, but time will only tell what they will do. 

Until then, Disney’s highly anticipated films like Eternals and Steven Spielberg's West Side Story can only be seen in theaters. So make sure to mask up and watch movies that can only be seen in your local theater. 

What are your thoughts on Disney debuting films exclusively in theaters? Let us know in the comments!      

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1 Comment

See how long this lasts.

September 14, 2021 at 4:31PM

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Sketkh Williams
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