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Disney Clashes With France Over Disney Plus Release Strategy

Disney – aka The House Of Mouse – and the French government are clashing! What is France so annoyed with Disney about…? It all has to do with Disney’s new movie release strategy on Disney Plus.

With the success of theatrical releases seeing a huge return of audiences to cinemas and box office revenue over the past few months, the end of ‘cinema’ that was regularly anticipated due to the rising in streaming platforms last year, is thankfully nowhere in sight.

However, that doesn’t mean streaming services and theatrical releases aren’t encountering issues.

And in some ways on huge scales.

France recently enacted a policy to protect its own French box office and film releases back in January of this year, placing huge restrictions on theatrical releases.

Namely that theatrical releases would only be made available for sale after four months. Then they would be released to the channel Canal Plus.

Only after a whopping 17 months, would they be available to stream on Disney Plus.

Finally, after 22 months, they’d be removed for free-to-air TV, only to finally head back to Disney+ 36 months later.

Disney refuse to play ball with the French

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Credit: Disney

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Whilst the thoughts behind the scheme or at least the intentions were looking to protect the industry it all seems a bit ridiculous, and you can see why Disney and Amazon are refusing such deals.

In reality, this deal is just pushing films direct to streaming.

And it seems the House of Mouse has had enough and decided to do just that.

The new animated release, Strange World will be released under Disney’s new release plan for France, skipping theatrical releases entirely, negatively affecting not only cinemas and box office revenue but also local production which gains a portion of all ticket sales in France.

Instead, Strange World will release in cinemas during November pretty much worldwide, and when the film hits Disney Plus a few months later, only then will it release in France.

And only via Disney Plus.

In a statement to Deadline the House of Mouse stated:

While we support French cinema — and have for decades — the new, cumbersome media chronology is anti-consumer, ignoring how behaviour has evolved over the last several years…

This could have a devastating snowball effect for French exhibitors if other studios such as Warner Bros. Pictures or even Paramount tow the same line.

Variety estimates it could stand to lose around £16 million a year as a result. If this happens and studios bypass the theatrical window entirely.

What do you make of the news?

Is France doing the right thing?

Should Disney just agree?

Let us know in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you!

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 podcasts, Small Screen Stories and Small Screen Film Club wherever you get your podcasts!




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