Studios are trying to figure out how to bring their blockbusters to consumers amid the uncertain times of the COVID-19 pandemic, whether it be opening the film in select theaters, or pivoting entirely to a Video on Demand release. On Tuesday, it was revealed that Disney would be doing a bit of both in an unexpected way, by offering Mulan as a "premier access" release through their Disney+ streaming service, allowing subscribers to pay $29.99 to watch the film from the comfort of their own home, with it also opening theatrically in select markets that have theaters widely open. Some quickly began to speculate if Disney's other blockbusters could soon follow suit, including the Marvel Studios installment Black Widow. According to Disney CEO Bob Chapek, that might not be the case just yet. During Disney's quarterly investor call, Chapek revealed that Mulan's release strategy is currently regarded as "a one-off", but that it will be an opportunity to learn from that kind of method.
"We are looking at Mulan as a one-off as opposed to saying there's a new business windowing model we are looking at," Chapek explained.
Black Widow was originally poised to debut this past May, but was delayed to this upcoming November due to the pandemic. In the months since then, the question of whether or not that film, in particular, could arrive on Disney+ has plagued the fandom. While some have wanted the film to be released in a more timely fashion - including some of the film's cast - others want the long-awaited female-fronted blockbuster to properly play in theaters.
"I'm very much looking forward to being in Black Widow if we ever are able to release that movie," David Harbour, who portrays Red Guardian in the film, said in an interview earlier this year. "I would love to be able to watch that movie too – y'know I have not seen that movie. I have seen some stuff in ADR and it looks really good. And also I was there when we were shooting it and I'm really excited about it. But I would like to see it myself. H---, I would watch it on Disney+."
What do you think of Chapek's comments regarding Mulan's streaming deal? Do you want Black Widow to eventually follow suit? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
Black Widow is currently scheduled to debut in theaters on November 6th.