Black Panther 2 (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever) might not be released in French cinemas, and this whole ordeal is demonstrating how Disney does not care about cinemas at all. French website, Le Film Français, has revealed that The House Of Mouse and the French union of cinemas are in a pretty nasty battle.
So, what’s going on and how does this all just demonstrate why Disney goes not give a flying hoot about cinema releases anymore? Well, it all has to do with the laws of releasing movies theatrically in France. The ‘Syndicat Français des Théâtres Cinématographiques’, which is the union of cinemas in France – yes, they have a union in France, which is a very good thing – denotes that all movies that are released in cinemas in France have to wait at least 17 months before being released on a streaming platform.
Black Panther 2 might not be released in French cinemas
This 17-month law has resulted in none of the MCU films from Marvel’s Phase 4 being released on Disney Plus in France yet. They will be, eventually, but they all have to wait. Now, before you all say, “why is the French cinema union being so strict”, it’s actually a rule they implemented to help save cinemas in France. I think that it’s actually a really good way of protecting the cinema, which is in desperate need of being protected right now. People in France still go to the cinema multiple times a week, and it’s an important part of the culture here in France. And, yes, I live in France, so I should know about this.
In other territories, Disney movies are basically only in cinemas for a few weeks before they are then put onto Disney Plus’ Premier Access. This means that people can rent the latest MCU movies. I think it’s about four months usually before the latest Disney and Marvel releases are made available for rent on the streaming platform. This might be good for some people. Maybe people who live in remote areas where it’s not easy to get to the cinema. However, France has a lot of cinemas and people seem to want to keep them in business. Things like Disney Plus, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are causing cinemas to lose a tone of money.
Will the movie be released in France?
Regarding France’s 17-months law, Disney issued the following statement, which has been transcribed from French:
The media timeline forces us to evaluate our theatrical releases film by film. We have not yet made a decision on the release of Black Panther.
Interestingly enough, this isn’t the first time that Disney has addressed this particular piece of French legislation. The company has actually pulled the theatrical release of their upcoming animated film, Strange World, as a result of this law. Disney opted to release the movie directly to Disney Plus in France as a result. So, does this all mean that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever won’t be released theatrically in France? No, I don’t think so. Disney can still make an awful lot of money from releasing the movie theatrically in France, and it would stay in cinemas for longer.
However, the bottom line is that Disney doesn’t want to share any of its potential revenue with cinemas. This is why the company is being so forceful with France. The French people have basically revealed Disney’s true colours – they do not care about releasing movies theatrically. For them, it would be far more financially beneficial to make their latest releases available to rent on Disney Plus via Premier Access as opposed to releasing them in cinemas and giving them a cut of the profits.
What do you make of this news? Do you think that Disney is showing its true colours in this whole battle with the French cinemas union? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
What do you make of this story? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages! And if you enjoy listening to film podcasts, why not check out our podcast, The Small Screen Podcast, wherever you get your podcasts!