As the situation regarding the coronavirus continues to escalate, and public places begin to close, movie studios are currently looking at their release schedules with dread. As a result of Covid-19, we are now seeing the release of numerous films postponed, creating a lot of uncertainty for the industry.
Major releases, No Time To Die, Peter Rabbit 2, A Quiet Place II and Fast and Furious 9 have all been pushed back from their original release dates. In the case of Fast and Furious 9 this means fans will now have to wait a whole year before they can see the film.
It’s not just the big movies that are taking the hit, even smaller pictures such as Paramount’s Blue Story and Love Birds have also been pulled. But at this point, studios have little choice – why open a film if there are no places to exhibit it?
One solution could be to move many of the films to streaming services. It wouldn’t be good for the big budget releases hoping to score millions at the box office, but it could be a solution for small films.
Studios would have to do deals with Netflix, Amazon and the like, but with countless people facing the idea of self-isolating in the coming months, at least there would be a captive audience.
And then this got me thinking. Would it be such a bad idea for Black Widow to move directly to Disney+?
Disney is currently in the process of rolling out its streaming service worldwide, and while it isn’t available in every country at present, Disney+ is available in the US, Canada and the Netherlands, with the UK and many parts of Europe set to get it in March. Would it not be worth considering launching Black Widow on Disney+ in light of what is currently happening?
OK, so if Disney moved Black Widow to Disney+ it would mean the studio would take a big hit – Marvel movies are very profitable. But by the same token, if people are stuck in doors and have access to Disney+ for £5.99, would it not mean a potential upswing in subscribers?
Disney want to get as many subscribers as possible. Under the circumstances moving Black Widow to Disney+ might be worth considering.
Just a thought.
Until we hear anything further, Black Widow is due in UK cinemas at the end of April and in the US in May.