The significant rise in streaming activity was far from an unexpected byproduct of self-quarantining in the wake of the coronavirus. But what is rather surprising is the number of new films about to get released on streaming platforms instead of hitting theaters as originally planned. Disney in particular sent shockwaves through the industry last week when it announced that Artemis Fowl will forego its May 29 theatrical debut in favor of hitting Disney+ at an unspecified date. And according to Disney’s now-former CEO, Bob Iger, other movies may not be far behind.
While speaking with Barron’s, Iger revealed that Disney is thinking about dropping more upcoming films on its still-nascent streaming service. Regardless, he admitted that this isn’t the preferable option.
“In terms of movies going ahead after Artemis, there may be a few more that we end up putting directly onto Disney+,” said Iger. “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.”
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Some of those “new ones” include delayed premieres for Marvel Studios’ entire Phase Four slate. However, the fates of a few other big tentpoles aren’t as clear. One film that comes to mind when considering possible Disney+ releases is The New Mutants, which obviously isn’t part of the MCU. The COVID-19 outbreak recently caused Josh Boone’s horror-inspired X-Men spinoff to get postponed for the fourth time in two years. Although an early streaming release might seem like mercy at this point, this might not happen due to contractual issues with HBO, which (via UPROXX) continues to hold the premium TV rights to 20th Century Fox/Studios films even though that company has been Disney’s property for over a year. And apparently, a premature VOD release is unlikely for similar reasons.
What do you make of Disney’s plans to have more upcoming films go straight to Disney+? Tell us what you think in the comment section below!
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