On Friday, the Walt Disney Company announced that “Eternals,” “West Side Story,” and the remainder of its 2021 films will be released exclusively in theaters before being released on streaming, demonstrating its faith in the moviegoing industry.
During the epidemic, the firm experimented with releasing several films on the Disney+ streaming service while they were released in theaters. As the Delta variant postponed customers' return to multiplexes, cinema operators have been anxiously watching how Disney, which has dominated the movie box office in recent years, will handle its next slate.
Disney announced that the animated musical "Encanto" will be released in theaters for 30 days beginning November 24 and will be available on Disney+ shortly before Christmas. The story follows a family who lives in a wonderful house in Colombia's mountains. Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of "Hamilton," composed the music for it.
According to the firm, all other Disney films, including Marvel's "Eternals" in November and Steven Spielberg's "West Side Story" revival in December, will be released exclusively in theaters for at least 45 days.
The latest Disney film, Marvel's "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings," just broke the Labor Day weekend box office record with $94.7 million in ticket sales in the United States and Canada. The film starred Simu Liu and Awkwafina and had a largely Asian cast, was only released in theaters.
However, movie attendance for the year is still significantly below pre-pandemic levels. AMC Entertainment, Cineworld Plc, and Cinemark Holdings Inc depend on strong fall and winter releases to entice people back to their theaters.
In October, historical drama "The Last Duel" and animation comedy "Ron's Gone Wrong" will be released, followed by an action spy picture "The King's Man" in December.