Disney+ Could Be Taking Even More Theatrical Releases
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Disney+ Could Be Taking Even More Theatrical Releases From Their Calendar

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BY April 12, 2021

An early criticism of Disney+, one of the most talked-about streaming services of the decade, was that it didn’t have enough new and unique content. With decades of quality movies and television, some thought that re-watching their nostalgic favorites would get old, and fast. Queue subscription-worthy content like The Mandalorian and… (wait, is it just The Mandalorian?) Now that a global pandemic has taken over, we’re finally getting some content that keeps us from hitting unsubscribe. And there might be even more! Disney+ is starting to consider bringing films planned for theatrical releases onto the platform.

We Might Get More “Planned” Theatrical Releases On Disney+

I managed to go to the movie theater to see five movies since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic during the brief window where they were open (until they closed again last week.) Each show was a complete ghost-town where I got to chat with the theater workers and ask them the same questions they have probably heard every single shift (“So, you guys been busy lately?” “Do you prefer it like this?” “Have you been eating all of the leftover popcorn?”) Tickets clearly aren’t selling, and theaters are mostly closed down across the continent. It makes no sense to release a movie right now unless a studio just wants to get rid of it.

Meanwhile, Disney has learned that people are more than willing to spend a few extra dollars to stream content that would have been sent straight to theaters. Disney found enough success (money) with releasing Mulan earlier this year, even after charging extra for it. Soul, an upcoming Pixar film, is also slated to arrive on the platform later this year for no additional costs. All of the conversations that have followed these announcements have surrounded whether or not we would ever see Black Widow on the small screen, but we still haven’t been given too much reason to hope.

disney+ theatrical Image via Disney+.

So, What Is Coming to Disney+ Next?

The latest buzz floating around has suggested that a new crop of movies will be released straight to streaming. Cruella, the long-awaited villainess origin story of Cruella de Vil (starring Emma Stone) is expected to join the Tom-Hanks starring Pinocchio and David Lowery’s Peter Pan and Wendy. We could see all three of these available for streaming by the end of 2021.

Sending these films straight to streaming seems like a no-brainer for Disney. Taking them off of a theatrical release calendar and putting them on Disney+ would prevent plenty of the headaches that come from shuffling release dates, which has been happening all year. Not only would it give them more freedom in scheduling other releases, but they would potentially save a lot on marketing costs. They would also get to keep money that would have gone to the theaters themselves.

It seems like those who miss the movie theaters might want to consider keeping their Disney+ memberships for just a little bit longer.

Do you think that Disney+ will thrive if they keep sending planned theatrical releases to the streaming platform instead? Join the conversation in the comments or voice your opinion to us on Twitter!

Featured image via Disney & Pixar.


Meghan Hale is the kind of movie lover that has a "must watch" that is a mile long... and growing. When she isn't talking about the latest film and television news she is writing one of her many in-process novels, screaming film trivia at anybody who will listen, and working as a mental health care professional. Follow her on Twitter @meghanrhale for some fun theories and live reactions to all things entertainment.


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