Wonder Woman 1984 is releasing on HBO Max on Christmas Day and fans are wondering what that means for Black Widow. Disney has been guarded when discussing the next Marvel Studios adventure for much of this year. Kevin Feige and others have echoed that Black Widow will try for theaters however possible. But, face with reality, it’s time to embrace the fact that fans will be best served with Black Widow releasing on Disney+ at home while the coronavirus pandemic is still going on. Nobody likes that it has come to it, but at this point, people want to see these movies. It’s been a long year for everyone, and enough is enough. This might be the moment that pushes Disney to do what they’ve been putting off for months now.
Bob Iger and others famously said that they didn’t see a path for a Mulan release on Disney+, but were open to any avenues when the data came in. History wrote that story, and the live-action remake saw it’s day on the streaming platform earlier this year as a part of Premium Access. Now, the question becomes for Disney, do they go that route for Black Widow or try to forge another way. It’s become obvious that to keep the timeline flowing and not remain stagnant, the film will probably have to hit Disney+.
Warner Media’s decision around Wonder Woman 1984 signals something a lot of fans have been asking for since this whole coronavirus situation started: the benefits of dominating the news cycle overshadow the economic gains from waiting for theaters to be open again. Think about how dominant the cultural forces like Tiger King were over the summer with no MCU releases for the first time in a decade. It was made all the starker by the fact that 2020 followed the all-encompassing dominance of 2019 for the Mouse. For a company that always makes money, last year was a high-water mark that probably couldn’t have been repeated anyway.
Black Widow occupies a curious moment for the franchise as well. This is the first woman-fronted MCU movie, and a lot of spectators were looking forward to seeing if Scarlet Johansson could move those Captain Marvel numbers. Wonder Woman 1984, and its predecessor, also served as bellwether moments for Warner Bros. as they had been struggling to find ways to serve half of their audiences with these big tentpole superhero movies. The ramifications of the Wonder Woman decision will be worth monitoring as it goes forwards. Fans of Birds of Prey will remember the hand-wringing over its theatrical numbers (despite them being cut short by COVID as well.)
Will Black Widow come out on Disney+ by the end of the year? It’s hard to tell. One would hope that fans can see what they enjoy while there’s a tacit agreement between the creative teams and management that this release strategy would not affect decisions about these characters and how to move forward with their stories. However, we do know that Wonder Woman will be getting her day on HBO Max this winter.
Are you watching Wonder Woman 1984 on Christmas? Do you want Black Widow on Disney+ before the end of the year? Let us know down in the comments!