Disney is reportedly looking at the logistics of releasing Black Widow on-demand instead of in theaters. The studio is also believed to be doing the same for the live-action remake of Mulan. Movie theaters across North America are closed and will remain to be for the foreseeable future. As of this writing, there are less than 400 theaters open in North America and major studios are scrambling to figure out what to do next. The first reaction was to postpone release dates, but this current situation might not be going away any time soon.
Black Widow was all set to hit theaters on May 1st, kicking of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Phase 4 in the process. However, due to current events, Marvel Studios and Disney decided to pull the release date and did not reveal a future date. Now, according to a new report, Disney is considering releasing the movie on-demand, skipping the movie theater experience altogether. As for the reasoning, the studio apparently needs the money. With that said, it's believed they are looking at a price point to release the movie online at the moment. Mulan is reportedly also being considered for a home release.
AMC Theaters is expected to be closed for at least the next eight to twelve weeks, though that could very well be longer. Theaters in China tried opening up again earlier this week, but shut down shortly after. Even when the theaters were open, people weren't going like the chains imagined they would. With that in mind, it could be a long time before movie theaters open their doors to packed houses again, which means even if a highly anticipated movie like Black Widow comes out, it won't have the box office success that it would have three months ago.
Warner Bros. is still planning on putting out Wonder Woman 1984 in August. The original release date was in June, but the studio pushed the release date back. Even waiting until August is a gamble at the moment, especially if things keep going how they've been going. If Disney does decide to put out Black Widow online instead of in theaters, they're going to have to figure out the right price point.
According to a recent poll, moviegoers are only willing to pay $6 to $8 for an on-demand movie. However, the MCU may be able to command more money at this stage of the game. Making some money is definitely better than making no money at all, and the studio realizes this, though releasing movies on-demand is still a pretty new experiment. Universal Pictures is looking to release Trolls World Tour this way and all of the other studios will be watching to see how it goes. If all goes well, movies like Black Widow and Mulan will more than likely skip the theater experience. This news was first reported by Grace Randolph's Twitter account.