Last month, Disney chairman Bob Iger revealed that the studio could possibly release more movies to streaming like they are with Artemis Fowl this June.
Though, the company is not giving up on the moviegoing experience in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, however, they will evaluate their releases on a case-by-case basis.
During Disney’s Q2 earnings call, CEO Bob Chapek reaffirmed this, “We very much believe in the value of the theatrical experience overall to launch blockbuster movies,”
Chapek continued by highlighting their box office success in 2019, but knows we are living in a changing environment.
“As you know we had seven $1 billion films in calendar 2019, but we also realized that either because of changing and evolving consumer dynamics, or because of certain situations like Covid, we may have to make some changes to that overall strategy just because theaters aren’t open, or aren’t open to the extent that anybody needs to be financially viable. So we’re going to evaluate each one of our movies on a case by case situation, as we are doing right now, during this coronavirus situation.”
Chapek comments come right off the heels after AMC and Regal were not happy with Universal’s decision to release Trolls World Tour on-demand and its executive’s comments that it could do similar releases even after theaters reopen to the public.
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Back in early March, Disney reshuffled their theatrical release schedule moving films like Jungle Cruise, Raya and the Last Dragon, and Eternals off to 2021, while Mulan and Black Widow were moved to July and November respectively.
The aforementioned Artemis Fowl was moved to Disney+, which will help boost their subscriber numbers, which currently sits at 65.5 million as of Monday. While families are stuck at home Disney is looking for ways to take advantage of the market with new films and series, a move that could also be made soon is moving The One and Only Ivan, which is expected to hit theaters in August to the streamer, but only time will tell.
Mulan is set to open July 24 and Bob Chapek believes they will have a good idea how the film will do in theaters with social distancing measures and the demand for moviegoers by looking at Warner Bros. highly-anticipated Christopher Nolan film Tenet, starring Robert Pattinson and John David Washington, which is scheduled to hit theaters a week before on July 17.
“There’s a competitive movie that opens up one week before our film does and at that point we’re hoping that there’s some return to semblance of normal in terms of number of screens that are opening and number of show times for those movies”