Why Marvel Studios Needs to Release Black Widow On-Demand

Here we are, inching closer to October in the year 2020. For the past six months, America's been [...]

Here we are, inching closer to October in the year 2020. For the past six months, America's been riddled by a pandemic that's greatly affected the vast majority of the world. Stateside, some states and cities continue to have lockdown policies and procedures in place in an attempt to help snuff out the pandemic once and for all while others have chosen to open for business, coronavirus be damned.

One significant sector impacted most by the economic shutdowns has been the theater industry, where many exhibitors continue to remain closed six months after initially shutting down. After all, there are few public places where dozens of people gather in close quarters as they smack snacks, slurp on sodas, and breathe on each other at a constant rate for two hours.

That's why Marvel Studios needs to release Black Widow on Disney+.

Throughout this entire year, shutdowns have impacted Hollywood in nearly every facet of the business. Exhibitors are shut down, so now distribution is backlogged as more movies continue getting bumped to 2021. Production has been shut down for months as studios worked to get adequate social distancing measures in place so that they can film without spreading COVID-19 to cast, crew, and extras. Vendors in post-production have been forced to work remotely, rendering visual effects shots and piecing together virtual set pieces from afar.

This year has been tremendously tough on all studios of Hollywood, creating a hassle for an entire studio when just one mid-sized feature is delayed. Just imagine if you had a dozen projects — all connected to one another, at that — at various stages in development that you had to consider. In case you didn't pick up on it, we're looking at you, Marvel Studios. One delay could upset the whole status quo, pushing the entire slate back as the storylines begin to depend on one another. We've seen it once, and we're on the verge of seeing it again.

Depending which pundit you ask, Mulan has either performed admirably, or it performed disastrously on Disney+ as a Premier Access entry. Instead of a domestic release, the House of Mouse opted to allow cinephiles to purchase the film digitally for $30, so long as they have a subscription to Disney+. Now available of the streaming service for purchase, Disney had a disastrous public relations guffaw when someone accidentally updated the movie page on the platform to reveal Mulan would hit the service for free on December 4th for all subscribers.

But let's be honest, Black Widow isn't Mulan. A classic in its own right, Mulan doesn't have the fandom or star power the Marvel Studios tentpole carries. Nor does it have the Marvel Studios title card or the "Produced by Kevin Feige" credit movie-goers applaud.

The thing is, Black Widow isn't a spectacle movie by any stretch of the imagination. It's not a far-reaching space opera taking you to planets far and wide like Thor: Ragnarok. It's certainly not a universe-spanning crossover like Infinity War or Endgame. It doesn't have the look and feel of a Guardians of the Galaxy or a Doctor Strange. And we're completely honest with ourselves, the Scarlett Johansson vehicle probably wasn't a billion-dollar movie when the box office doesn't have to worry about a pandemic.

It's a sizable flick — largely in part due to the brand it carries — when compared to Mulan, but it might be one of the smallest-scale movies from Feige and company to date.

You see, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Friday he doesn't expect theaters to return to normal for the better part of next year. The country's leading expert on infectious diseases made it a point to say he thinks masks will be a requirement at theatres into the latter part of 2021. By now, it's apparent the box office is far from normal — look at Tenet's domestic haul for a confirmation of that.

Even if Bob Chapek, Alan Horn, and company were using Mulan as a test only for it to fall flat on its face, Black Widow has the brand awareness it needs to make money as an on-demand offering. It has the clout and the chatter and it has the legions of hungry fans willing to pay whatever for any MCU content they can get their hands on.

It's far from a perfect scenario, but Disney's going need to make some money this year as it at least attempts to balance its books — and a Black Widow on-demand release might be the company's saving grace.

That's why Marvel Studios need to release Black Widow on Disney+.

Black Widow is currently set for release on November 6th.

Do you think Black Widow will go on Disney+ or will it only be released in theaters? Let us know your thoughts either in the comments section or by tweeting our writer @AdamBarnhardt to chat all things Marvel!