Report: Disney not expected to release 2021 Marvel Studios films on Disney+ simultaneously as theaters

By Stephen Ippolito | December 9th, 2020

Well, it seems that we already have an answer to one of the news items I said to keep an eye on during Disney’s Investor Day event on Thursday. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney is not expected to follow WarnerMedia’s model and release their entire 2021 film slate on their streaming service the same day they hit theaters.

The company is planning to switch some of their films to a Disney+ release, like Cruella. However, Marvel Studios films Black Widow, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and Eternals are expected to stay exclusively to theaters.

What’s interesting is that, according to The Hollywood Reporter, WarnerMedia was hoping Disney would follow their lead. Since their shocking announcement last Thursday, the AT&T owned company has been getting killed by filmmakers for making the switch. The company hoped that if Disney followed their model for 2021, it would soften the blowback they’ve received. Unfortunately for them, because Disney has recently performed much better at the box-office, they decided against the move.

Another factor in Disney’s decision, is that Disney+ does not need a boost to gain subscribers. Despite only being out for a year, the Disney streaming service has already gained over 73 Million subscribers. During the companies 2019 Investor Day, its target for 2024 subscribers was 60-90 million. By reaching that in a little over a year, it’s fare to say that they “smashed expectations.”

HBO Max, on the other hand, has struggled out of the gate. Since it’s launch in May, the streaming service has only netted 12.6 million subs. By releasing their 2021 film slate on HBO Max, WarnerMedia is hoping it will attract more subscribers.

Report: Marvel Studios is prioritizing its shows for Disney+ right now

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