September 12, 2021
Disney’s pandemic-era experiment releasing theatrical movies simultaneously at a premium price ($29.99) on Disney+ is done for 2021. In a big win for exhibitors, the studio Sept. 10 announced that its remaining theatrical slate would have a 30/45-day box office exclusivity each movie’s debut.
The remaining 2021 releases include The Last Duel (Oct. 15), Ron’s Gone Wrong (Oct. 22), Marvel’s Eternals (Nov. 5), Encanto (Nov. 24), Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story (Dec. 10) and Kingsman prequel The King’s Man (Dec. 22).
Disney is riding high on the current theatrical success of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which has exceeded the studio’s expectations, including topping the domestic box office for a second straight weekend with $35.8 million.
The studio previously experimented by simultaneously releasing box office releases Raya and the Last Dragon, Cruella, Black Widow and Jungle Cruise as a $29.99 Premier Access add-on for Disney+ subscribers.
Black Widow star Scarlett Johansson is suing Disney over the strategy, alleging breach of contract. Disney said it generated $60 million in Premier Access revenue from Black Widow its first weekend and gave Johansson as piece of that, though the actress alleges the strategy in general undercut her potential compensation based on a percentage of the box office.