On its Q1 earnings call today, Disney was asked about strategy when it comes to when and how to debut new titles. Bob Chapek, CEO of Disney, responded by saying that the company is remaining flexible with its plans.
Chapek noted that there are three separate strategies when it comes to releasing Disney titles. Some will skip theaters and go directly to streaming on Disney+ as we saw with “Soul,” released on Christmas Day. Others will be released in theaters. And others will be available to Disney+ subscribers through Premier Access concurrently with theatrical releases like we saw with “Mulan.”
“Raya and the Last Dragon” will be the next film to be available with Premier Access. The film is set to debut on March 5, 2021 and will cost $29.99 on top of the regular cost of a Disney+ subscription.
When it comes to Black Widow, Chapek again used the work “flexible,” confirming that Disney is still planning on a theatrical release on May 7, but will be closely watching theater reopenings and moviegoer behaviors to decide if that plan needs to be revisited.
It’s likely that Disney will wait to see how “Raya” performs with Premier Access before making a final decision on “Black Widow.”
While Disney is holding out hope that theatrical releases will be a possibility later this year, there will be no shortage of content going straight to Disney+.
“We’ll be adding something new to the service every week,” Christine McCarthy, Disney CFO, reiterated during the call.