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 its streaming service HBO Max 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.
That deal may be good news for theaters, but the industry has to deal with another crushing blow first. Disney announced it’s pushing the opening of “Black Widow” from May 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.
As for the new Pixar movie “Luca,” Disney is putting it directly onto its streaming service in June for no additional cost.