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Disney CEO Downplays Concerns Over Movie Releases in Pandemic Era

Disney CEO Bob Chapek downplayed concerns regarding Walt Disney Studios‘ decision to theatrically release movies this summer in the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic.

The comments came during a CNBC interview with Chapek. Interviewer Julia Boorstin asked Chapek if there were any concerns at Disney regarding the wariness of people to return to movie theaters. In response, Chapek downplayed potential concerns over future movie theater attendance being adversely impacted, citing “pent-up demand.”

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“If you think about the occupancy of a movie theater, Monday through Friday afternoon, you know, 25 percent is about what you’d get,” Chapek explained, “It only really becomes an issue on Friday night and Saturday night and, to a lesser extent, on Sunday night. So it really doesn’t push the limits of what would typically be seen as occupancy inside movie theaters until you get to those weekend evenings, and in that particular case, I think that can be managed. That’s really gonna be up to our exhibitors that we partner with.”

Chapek’s comments come as Disney prepares to release Mulan on July 24. This will make Mulan the first Disney film to debut since movie theaters were shut down. Disney pushed Black Widow, its other major summer release, to the fall.

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Disney CEO Bob Chapek downplayed concerns regarding Walt Disney Studios' decision to theatrically release movies this summer in wake of COVID-19.

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