Black Widow: Movie Theaters Reportedly Upset With Disney+ Release Plans

In a few months, Black Widow will follow the path of Mulan and Raya and the Last Dragon by heading to Disney+ for a Premier Access Release. Like its predecessors, the feature will still be available in theaters the same day it hits streaming — even then, exhibitors aren't taking kindly to the news.

In a new report from the Wall Street Journal, exhibitors aren't entirely thrilled with Disney's decision to put the Marvel Studios blockbuster on streaming without giving out an exclusive theatrical release.

“We haven’t made any threats,” AMC head Adam Aron told the WSJ before adding, “it is widely known that AMC has threatened not to play movies if we could not find business terms that we found acceptable."

Aron, of course, is referring to remarks from last April, where AMC temporarily refused to screen features from Universal after the studio decided to send some titles straight to digital on-demand services.

At the time, Aron wrote that the boycott "affects any and all Universal movies per se, goes into effect today and as our theaters reopen, and is not some hollow or ill-considered threat."

He added, "Incidentally, this policy is not aimed solely at Universal out of pique or to be punitive in any way, it also extends to any movie maker who unilaterally abandons current windowing practices absent good faith negotiations between us, so that they as distributor and we as exhibitor both benefit and neither are hurt from such changes. Currently, with the press comment today, Universal is the only studio contemplating a wholesale change to the status quo. Hence, this immediate communication in response."

Now, it looks like AMC could potentially be mulling a similar scenario with the biggest studio in the land unless the two sides manage to come to a new agreement. It should be noted shortly after Aron's initial statement to Universal, the two sides came to an agreement where exhibitors would still retain an exclusive window, though it was significantly shortened.

Because of that, it's totally within the realm of possibility the Mouse also strikes a deal, especially as it works to navigate a post-COVID world.

5comments

Black Widow is now set to hit theaters and Disney+ on July 9th.

Do you plan on seeing the movie in theaters or on Disney+? Let us know your thoughts either in the comments section or by hitting our writer @AdamBarnhardt up on Twitter to chat all things MCU!