Are We About To See The End Of Cinema Exclusivity?

A lot has happened this week as far as cinemas are concerned, and it looks like things might be changing even more in the future.

As the US box office continues to grow in strength and attendance numbers, in England on May 17th cinemas have been given the go-ahead to reopen.

Disney sent a blow to both countries when they announced another delay to Black Widow from May till July.

Along with a second blow in that that both Cruella starring Emma Stone (May 28th) and Jungle Cruise starring Emily Blunt and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will be releasing in cinemas along with premium Disney Plus the same day.

Sources have told us confidentially that this news added with Disney’s demands for more showtimes and extra days to have their movies playing in theatres in if the cinemas wish to book these upcoming films are causing discontent with cinema operators.

One source informed us:

If we don’t turn them down, they’ll just walk all over us.

There appears to be growing unrest at the lack of support from the House of Mouse for the industry that has been closed for almost 12 months.

Disney To Use Disney Plus Much More

Disney Plus has been released in the UK today

Credit: Disney Plus

Read more: WarnerMedia’s Plans For DC Films: Inside The Mayhem

An even bigger blow was announced this morning as the studio confirmed that Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of The Ten Rings, and Free Guy will be released with only a 45-day window before heading straight to Disney Plus.

This seems to be the path Disney are about to go down for good.

When arguably the biggest box office giant in the world sets this as a precedent, everyone else will follow.

It’s also difficult for cinema operators to stand any ground when they will not want to miss out on any Marvel, Star Wars or Pixar release as these guarantee ticket sales.

It’s Not All Mickey Mouse…

Black Widow Disney Plus 2021 films to watch

Credit: Marvel Studios

Read more: Black Widow Coming To Disney Plus And Theatres In July

However, we can’t attribute the beginning of this change to just Disney.

You may recall last spring when Universal began just before the pandemic took hold worldwide to release releases at the cinemas and on VOD at the same time.

In July, they signed an exclusive deal with certain operators to show films for only 17 days before heading to video on demand.

Warner Bros. Pictures (although they stated this was just for 12 months) have released films on HBO Max on the same day as in cinemas, although they have found great resistance such as with Dune as we reported below and Godzilla vs Kong, around this.

Read more: HBO Max Warner’s Plan In Jeopardy

The only studio to really seem uninvolved at the moment in such deals is Sony Pictures, who have remained committed to releasing their movies in cinemas.

Such a move has given English locations a shot in the arm come Monday by moving Peter Rabbit 2 forwards so they can open with a hugely popular and family-friendly film.

Some may overall say this is good for the consumer, however, it is certainly a devastating blow to the cinematic experience.

However, as some analysts have pointed out, a visit to a cinema is about the experience, the blockbuster sound, the huge screen and the social aspect with friends or partners.

What do you think?

Should cinematic windows be gone for good?

Would you prefer to watch new releases at home or in the cinema?

Let us know in the comments below.


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