Black Widow: Disney CEO Says They Made Right Call on Disney+ Release

Make no mistake about it, Black Widow is heading to Disney+ the same day it hits theaters. Disney CEO Bob Chapek continued to defend the move on Monday at a virtual summit hosted by JP Morgan. Speaking with those in attendance at the Global Technology, Media and Communications Conference, Chapek admitted the company still feels the box office is "fairly weak," as he doubled down on the day-and-date release of the Marvel Studios spy thriller.

"One of the things we learned is that flexibility is good," Chapek said during the panel (via Deadline). "We're really celebrating that flexibility...we're trying to offer consumers more choice."

Black Widow will be added to Disney+ as a Premiere Access offering, allowing people to purchase it to add to their Disney+ library and watch it immediately at home, or wherever the platform's app is available. In the past, Premiere Access offerings have retailed for $29.99.

The release was a major part of Disney's latest investor's call, as shareholders expressed interest in when Chapek and company felt comfortable going strictly back to theaters.

"We're trying to monitor, 'Are consumers ready to go back into theaters?'" the executive said earlier this month.. "Of course, let's say 90% of the domestic marketplace is open right now. And we're encouraged in terms of polling in terms of that growing going forward, but if you look at last weekend's box office for an example and you compare it versus an average of the last three years of pre-COVID box office, it was 85% low domestically and 67% below internationally."

Chapek then added he wasn't able to reveal the company's plans for next year, as he and his team still work out the planning. During the call, he neither confirmed nor denied the fact that the Premiere Access method could continue into 2022 for select releases.

"In terms of going beyond this fiscal year, we've not announced exactly what our strategy is going to be in terms of which titles will be theatrical plus Disney Premier Access, which ones will be direct to Disney+, or which ones will go into theaters," Chapek said, "but know that we'll continue to watch the evolution of the recovery of the theatrical marketplace and we'll use that flexibility to make the right call at the right time."

Black Widow is now set to hit theaters and Disney+ on July 9th. If you haven't signed up for Disney+ yet, you can try it out here.

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