Black Widow will now receive a simultaneous release on Disney+ and in theaters this summer.
Disney also revealed that the Emma Stone-led Cruella movie will be getting the same hybrid release treatment as Black Widow, and the studio has shifted the release dates for movies like Free Guy, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and more. Get the details below.
Black Widow has moved from May 7 to July 9, 2021, when it will hit theaters and be released on Disney+ under the Premier Access tier which requires an extra payment on top of the money for a subscription to the streamer. The same thing goes for Cruella, which will now debut simultaneously on May 28, 2021. The newest Pixar movie, Luca, will debut exclusively on Disney+ on June 18, 2021, though that title will not require an extra fee for subscribers to watch. In international markets where Disney+ is not yet available, Luca will be released theatrically.
Here are the additional theatrical release date shifts just announced by the company:
The fact that Black Widow is being released on Disney+ would have been practically unthinkable a year ago, back when Disney initially delayed the highly anticipated Marvel Studios release in the hopes of being able to release it a few months later and still rake in a billion dollars at the worldwide box office after the pandemic. The virus raged out of control, but even though things on the pandemic front are finally improving, expectations for the studio seem to have changed as we begin Year Two of dealing with the coronavirus.
Just last week, Disney CEO Bob Chapek stated that a decision about a Black Widow Disney+ and/or theatrical release would come at the last minute. “We’re going to make the call essentially, probably, at the last minute in terms of how these films come to market – whether it’s Black Widow or any other title,” Chapek said. Now that time has finally come. By finalizing this decision, it gives Marvel some much-needed stability and a sense of how Kevin Feige and his team can begin rebuilding their interconnected narrative that’s being spread across multiple films and now television shows like WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
This Black Widow shift is not without its own ripple effect, though: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has been kicked out of its July slot and into September, while Eternals is still slated for release on November 5 of this year.
This type of hybrid release was reportedly opposed by Feige as recently as last month, and although Marvel has gotten into Disney+ content with its streaming shows, this will mark the first Marvel Studios film that has received this treatment. Black Widow will be the first movie in Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
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