In a blow to cinemas, which have been desperate for Hollywood to release blockbuster films again, Walt Disney Studios on Tuesday pushed back the release dates of six movies, including the hotly anticipated Marvel superhero film “Black Widow.”
When “Black Widow” does arrive — on July 9 instead of May 7 — Disney said the film would roll out simultaneously in theaters and as a premium Disney+ offering, which means that watching it will cost $30 on top of the $8 monthly subscription to the streaming service. “Cruella,” starring Emma Stone as Cruella de Vil, will arrive in theaters on its previously announced date of May 28. Like “Black Widow,” however, it will also be available in homes at the same time, as a premium Disney+ offering.
Disney pulled “Luca,” the next Pixar film, from theatrical release entirely, saying that it would debut exclusively on Disney+ on June 18.
The other movies that were delayed were “Free Guy,” a comedy starring Ryan Reynolds; “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” a Marvel entry; the next “King’s Man” installment; and the dramas “Deep Water” and “Death on the Nile.”
“Today’s announcement reflects our focus on providing consumer choice and serving the evolving preferences of audiences,” Kareem Daniel, chairman of Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution, said in a statement. He added that the company was “leveraging a flexible distribution strategy in a dynamic marketplace that is beginning to recover from the global pandemic.”
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