Disney has no plans to stop showing its blockbuster movies, including those from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Star Wars, in theaters.
“We very much believe in the cinema experience to launch blockbuster moves, Disney CEO Bob Chapek told investors. “We very much believe in the value of the theatrical experience.” However, the CEO also stressed that the studio will evaluate each film on a case-by-case basis and that changing circumstances in the industry could lead to films that would have played in theaters now releasing to VOD or streaming instead.
“We also believe that either because of changing and evolving consumer dynamics or because of certain situations like COVID, we may have to make some changes to that overall strategy. … We’re going to evaluate each of our movies as a case-by-case situation, as we are doing during this coronavirus situation,” he said.
Disney is already following through on Chapek’s comments. It moved the release dates of all of its MCU films to accommodate the impact of the pandemic. However, it also decided to release Artemis Fowl, which was scheduled for a theatrical debut, on Disney+.
Chapek’s comments come after AMC banned Universal Pictures films from its theaters after it decided to change Trolls World Tour from a theatrical release to day and date VOD. However, AMC made it clear that Universal received the ban, not for releasing Trolls World Tour on VOD but for contemplating releasing more films in the same format once the coronavirus crisis ends. AMC has not commented on Chapek’s most recent statements.
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Walt Disney Studios does not plan to release its Star Wars and Marvel Studios films on VOD until after they play in theaters.