Don't expect any Marvel Cinematic Universe movies to debut on Disney+ anytime soon, so long as Kevin Feige has his say. Given that Feige, who is the head of not just Marvel Studios, but Marvel in general, is one of the most prolific producers in Hollywood history, it stands to reason that Disney will give him more than a little say in the matter. And Feige remains committed to the theatrical experience.
Kevin Feige has begun making the rounds in support of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which debuts on Disney+ later this month. Along with shows like WandaVision, this will give the MCU a major presence on the streaming service. But when asked recently in an interview about his devotion to preserving theatrical releases, Feige made it clear that the experience of seeing these movies in a theater is a huge part of what has made them successful. Here's what he had to say about it.
"It's impossible [not to be, when you] go to opening night to 23 movies, in packed movie houses, and seeing the moviegoers' reaction. That's what drives us creatively as we make all of these, certainly culminating in 'Avengers: Endgame' and 'Far From Home.' There's nothing better than that, and we don't want to lose it. I'm hoping we don't have to. If there is nowhere else to put those movies, that's another conversation, but I'm encouraged by the theaters holding on. Also, what's happening overseas in countries where [the pandemic] is more under control. Guess what? It's human nature to want to get together and have an experience. That's continuing in very big ways in countries where they are able."
The last year has been brutal for movie theaters. Many of them around the world were shut down for months on end and the box office has yet to truly recover. But, as Kevin Feige points out, countries like China have seen a massive resurgence. It suggests that, as things improve, ticket sales will get back to normal. Or at least closer to normal. Enough so that a studio can justify releasing a movie like Black Widow in theaters.
During the last year, studios have come up with creative release strategies. Disney, specifically, has experimented with Premier Access. Movies like Mulan and Raya and the Last Dragon were released both in theaters and on Disney+, but subscribers had to pay an additional $30 to watch these titles. It has been suggested that Disney might try this with Black Widow. However, CEO Bob Chapek recently confirmed that they still intend to release it in theaters on May 7.
Other MCU movies coming down the pipeline include Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Eternals, Spider-Man: No Way Home, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Thor: Love and Thunder, Black Panther 2 and Captain Marvel 2. Reboots of Blade and Fantastic Four are on the way as well. We'll be sure to keep you posted as further updates are made available. This news comes to us via Variety.