Expect Disney to shift more movies initially slated for theatrical release to streaming debuts on Disney+ instead due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Disney executive chairman Bob Iger revealed that consumers should expect to see the company push more content (and earlier) to their digital platforms like Disney+ in light of the current global crisis. Iger’s comments come just days after the studio announced it had scrapped plans to release Artemis Fowl theatrically, opting to debut the film on Disney+ instead.
“There are some we’ve decided to put on Disney+. We already announced one, Artemis Fowl, that would have been released in theaters. Others we’ve simply delayed,” Iger informed Barron’s.
“In terms of movies going ahead after Artemis, there may be a few more that we end up putting directly onto Disney+, but for the most part, a lot of the big tentpole Disney films, we’ll simply wait for slots. In some cases, we’ve announced new ones already, but later on in the calendar.”
Iger’s emphasis on non-tentpole films shifting to Disney+ probably doesn’t bode well for the likes of former Fox titles The New Mutants, The Personal History of David Copperfield, Antlers, and The Woman in the Window.
None of those films were given new theatrical release dates in Disney’s recent announcement, leading to speculation that they could end up on Disney-owned streaming platforms such as Disney+ or Hulu. All four films had initially been slated to open in theaters.