With the COVID-19 vaccine rolling out across the U.S. and theatres slowly starting to reopen, last week Disney CEO Bob Chapek said that it would be a last minute decision whether to maintain Black Widow‘s original release plan of opening exclusively in theatres on May 7th. However, less than a week later, the studio has now opted to play it safe, pushing the movie back by a few months in addition to giving it a simultaneous release on Disney+ as well. The movie will be available via Premier Access with a $30 rental fee as will Cruella, although the latter will not be delayed and is still arriving simultaneously in theatres on May 28th. Meanwhile the Pixar movie Luca will skip theatres altogether in favour of a Disney+ debut on June 18th for no additional charge. Accompanying these major announcements were the following theatrical release date changes:
- Black Widow – moves from May 7th to July 9th
- Free Guy – moves from May 21st to Aug. 13th
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings – moves from July 9th to Sept. 3rd
- Deep Water – moves from Aug. 13th to Jan. 14th, 2022
- The King’s Man – moves from Aug. 20th to Dec. 22nd
- Death on the Nile – moves from Sept. 17th to Feb. 11th, 2022
It seems surprising that after delaying Black Widow by over a year, Disney would ultimately decided to put it on Disney+ just as the pandemic seems to be coming to an end. That being said, with various Marvel shows now starting to air on Disney+, they probably can’t afford to hold up the MCU timeline anymore. While many people still find Disney’s Premier Access fee to be overpriced, it does make sense for families and it is a nice surprise that Luca will come to Disney+ for free. Will you be watching any of these movies on Disney+ or are you ready to return to theatres instead?