The movie theater industry was looking forward to May. That’s when Marvel’s “Black Widow” was set to be the first big movie to premiere exclusively in theaters once they reopened.
But Disney announced it’s pushing “Black Widow” to July and will put it on Disney+ at the same time, where subscribers will be able to watch for a $30 fee. “Cruella” will hold its May 28 theatrical release date, but will also be available via premium video on demand.
Disney needs “Black Widow” to be a global hit, and it’s possible the company didn’t feel Europe would be fully ready to reopen theaters by May.
In other theatrical news, Cineworld, the parent company of Regal Cinemas, says it reached a deal with WarnerMedia to give all of Warner’s movies a 45 day theatrical window in 2022.
That’s shorter than the 90-day windows that used to be commonplace in the industry, but longer than some of the more recent deals studios like Universal have made with theater chains.
This news comes as a surprise to some across the industry since WarnerMedia got rid of the theatrical window entirely for its 2021 films, putting them all on streaming the same day they open in theaters.
However, the deal with Regal Cinemas may have some caveats that haven’t been announced yet, and WarnerMedia has yet to issue its own statement on the deal.