Disney has announced on Friday that its upcoming films Eternals, The Last Duel, West Side Story, Ron’s Gone Wrong, and The King’s Man will have an exclusive 45-day theoretical release before moving to the Digital platform.
Meanwhile, the animated musical Encanto will play in theatres for 30 days. This experiment will give Disney the opportunity to draw box office grosses over the Thanksgiving holiday into December, before moving the film to Disney+ for Christmas holiday streaming. The film moves around the story of a family who lives in a magical house in the mountains of Colombia. This movie includes music written by Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Chairman of Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution, Kareem Daniel said, “Following the tremendous box office success of our summer films which included five of the top eight domestic releases of the year, we are excited to update our theatrical plans for the remainder of 2021.” Daniel added, “As confidence in moviegoing continues to improve, we look forward to entertaining audiences in theatres while maintaining the flexibility to give our Disney+ subscribers the gift of Encanto this holiday season.”
Walt Disney had experimented during the pandemic with debuting few movies on the Disney+ streaming service. With streaming on Disney+, the movies were also released in theaters. Recently released Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ are Marvel’s first exclusive theatrical release in more than two years. It collected grossed USD 105.9 million domestically through Wednesday. However, that is on the lower end of grosses for MCU features.
Meanwhile, Shang-Chi had earned USD 100.7 million at that point in its theatrical and digital release after opening in July. This movie is already outpacing the theatrical grosses of Black Widow, making Shang-Chi one of the best performing theatrical releases of the pandemic era. The film features a predominantly Asian cast including Simu Liu and Awkwafina. Although this movie is proved as an existential boon for those who are in desperate need of some good news.
But moviegoing for the year still remains below as compared to pre-pandemic levels. According to a report in Reuters, theater chains including AMC Entertainment, Cineworld Plc, and Cinemark Holdings Inc are counting on big fall and winter titles to lure customers back.
“As confidence in moviegoing continues to improve, we look forward to entertaining audiences in theatres, while maintaining the flexibility to give our Disney+ subscribers the gift of Encanto this holiday season,” Daniel said. Marvel movie Eternals will release in theatres on November 5 and Steven Spielberg’s revival of West Side Story in December. While the historical drama The Last Duel on October 15 and animated comedy Ron’s Gone Wrong on October 22 will open the windows in October. The action spy film The King’s Man will release on December 22.