On the cusp of the Disney investor day rumours have been rife in the past month, notably further incurred with Warner Bros recent 2021 streaming announcement, that Black Widow be released on Disney Plus. Quite why Disney would place it’s billion-dollar Marvel Cinematic Universe onto a streaming service without any box office gross seemed to be lost upon most ‘forecasters’.
Even Warner Bros. Pictures isn’t missing cinemas all together with their releases and should still coup significant grosses internationally if cinemas are open. With Tenet’s world-wide success despite its less than enthusiastic reviews and marketing troubles…
Something as heavily cast and anticipated along with the Mickey Mouse marketing machine behind it bodes well for its release. Black Widow named for the Scarlett Johannsson character of the same name also stars Academy Award winner Rachel Weisz and Academy Award Nominee Florence Pugh.
Will Iron Man be in Black Widow?
Not only that, but Marvel and Hollywood favourite Robert Downey Jr (Iron Man/Tony Stark) is rumoured to be making an appearance, making this an extravagant blockbuster. With a reported budget of $150-200m aside, this has the potential to be a big cinematic hit. And Disney Plus isn’t the answer.
The platform has already gained 74 million subscribers worldwide after only 11 months of operation, whilst Netflix took 7 years to reach. The New York Times confirms that speaking to sources Black Widow will be sticking with its cinematic release as a tentpole in May 2021. While smaller, perhaps less box office earning titles like Peter Pan & Wendy & Pinocchio will head straight to the streaming platform.
Disney Plus still doesn’t have enough subscribers
While movies certainly attract users, it’s television that makes Netflix and other platforms successful. Especially in long term subscriptions. Disney is still yet to make profits from its platform and is hugely investing (as Netflix has and continues to do) in television content.
From Marvel, we have WandaVision (Elisabeth Olsen), She-Hulk and Loki in or about to enter production. From Star Wars, The Mandalorian is showing its second hugely acclaimed season.
Disney Plus has a big back-catalogue – they don’t need to release Black Widow in it yet
And they are heading deeper into their back catalogue with a planned series based on Turner & Hooch, and Willow. With its acquisition of 20th Century Fox, Hulu, ESPN, FX and with their Disney Channel content, it’s expected that come 2024 it will be in the green.
What’s for sure is despite many calling for the death of the cinema release, nothing can beat the revenue or appeal of the global box office.
Are you looking forward to Black Widow? Do you think that Disney should release Black Widow on Disney Plus? Let us know in the comments below.
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