A Disney investor call reveals that the studio still plans to release the next Marvel film in cinemas, although this is no longer a cast-iron certainty.

Disney CEO Bob Chapek has been speaking with the company’s investors and in doing so, revealed a few interesting nuggets of information.

Firstly, Black Widow, currently due here in the UK in May, will be holding onto its slated release slot, although Chapek has indicated for the first time that Disney is willing to consider an alternative to a theatrical release should that date not hold. Chapek told investors “we are still intending for it to be a theatrical release. We are going to be watching very carefully to see whether that strategy needs to be revisited”.

Disney have been experimenting with releasing some of its major movies on its streaming platform – Disney+ – since the global pandemic forced cinemas to shut their doors periodically.

As such, we’ve seen Mulan and Soul forego cinema releases to head straight to the streaming platform, albeit using slightly different strategies. The company has previously suggested that Marvel films would remain exclusively as theatrical releases, and although Chapek’s statement supports that notion, it seems that should another delay become necessary, we could be looking instead at a Disney+ release for the film (probably via the hardly-cheap Premier Access idea Disney has been running with). Black Widow was originally set to be released a full year earlier in May 2020.

Moving high-profile releases over to Disney+ is certainly paying off for the company in terms of outstripping its projections for subscriptions though. Additions like Soul, along with the popular release of The Mandalorian‘s second season pushed Disney’s subscriber base up in December by 8.1m to 94m, matching its 2024 projections three years ahead of schedule.

With a promotional campaign for Black Widow needing to begin soon, if the film is to hit cinemas, the next couple of months will be crucial. We’ll keep you informed of any developments as we hear them.

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