Disney delays lots of films again as Mulan experiment stumbles

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Black Widow, Eternals, West Side Story, Death On The Nile and more are all delayed as Disney shuffles its release dates again.

We’re at the point where we reckon we can safely conclude that Disney’s Mulan going to Disney+ via ‘Premium Access’ didn’t bring home the funds the studio was looking for.

Appreciating that it wasn’t Disney’s first choice approach, the firm opted to pretty much bypass cinemas in the end, and charge already-paying subscribers an extra £19.99 if they wanted to watch the film. And whilst as a result Disney was able to keep the receipts without paying distribution costs, it doesn’t seem to have brought the return the firm needed for its $200m blockbuster.

Had the ‘premium access’ approach worked, then Disney may have taken other decisions surrounding its upcoming slate. But now, it’s announced big delays to lots of its biggest films.

The basics, then. All Marvel films for a start are delayed again. Black Widow has moved to May 7th 2021, Eternals to November 5th 2021 and Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings moves to July 9th 2021.

Outside of the MCU, Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story goes back pretty much a year to December 10th 2021. Kenneth Branagh’s Death On The Nile movies to December 18th.

A couple of films have moved forward. The King’s Man – itself delayed a few weeks ago – has come forward to earlier in February 2021. The film The Empty Man – that Disney inherited from Fox – movies forward to October 23rd of this year too.

The films left untouched are Soul, which is still due in November, and Free Guy starring Ryan Reynolds, which stays in December.

It does feel again as though Disney is giving cinema the bare minimum support at the time the industry needs it the most. But that’s easy for us to say, when we don’t have nine figures invested in each of those films.

Expect these dates to be reflected in the UK calendar shortly. On we go…


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