Disney CFO: Filmmaking Won’t Return to Normal Until Vaccine

in Disney, Movies & TV

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“I would really think the new reality is what we are living in right now until there is a vaccine that is widely available.” -Christine McCarthy, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, The Walt Disney Company

It appears that The Walt Disney Company will be more inclined, for the time being, to choose PVOD and other direct-to-consumer releases on Disney+ over a theatrical film releases going forward.

2020 will go down in history as one of the worst years financially for movie theaters. The global pandemic has not only shuttered them physically but also shuttered the confidence of the moviegoer who would go out and see a new film.

This  has also been an extremely detrimental year for filmmaking with several of Disney’s films and Disney+ original shows such as The Little Mermaid live-action remake, and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier having to pause production completely due to the global pandemic.

Falcon and Winter Solider
Credit: Marvel Studios

Disney has responded by choosing to push more of its new films such as Onward, and Frozen II to Disney+ earlier, and to offer its live-action Mulan remake on the streaming platform for a $30 premier access charge along with its select theatrical release around the world. Disney also decided to bypass the theatrical release of its filming of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical sensation Hamilton and upload that directly to Disney+.

Lin-Manuel Miranda Hamilton Criticism Response

Related: Will Pixar’s ‘Soul’ be Lifted Straight to Disney+?

But these adaptations have been met with dissatisfaction. New projects have been considerably delayed, some left without a confirmed release date, and theater owners who have been pining for Disney to release their latest blockbusters are now being passed over.

This situation leaves one wondering when will things be back to normal? How much longer is it going to be like this?

Christine McCarthy (left) with Citi Moderator Jason Bazinet
Credit: kvgo.com

When Christine McCarthy, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, The Walt Disney Company participated in a Q&A session at the Citi 2020 Global Technology Conference on Wednesday, September 9, 2020, she admitted her belief that this situation will continue until there is a vaccine readily available.

She said, “I would really think the new reality is what we are living in right now until there is a vaccine that is widely available.”

McCarthy went on to mention that some projects have been able to return to production, and as of today, it was revealed that Disney still wants to release its upcoming films in theaters. But until there is a vaccine to fight this pandemic, one has to wonder how keen the company is going to be to get those films on PVOD or Disney+.

Related: Disney on Film Industry: ‘Black Widow’ Update, More Disney+ Content in Works

When do you think things will get back to normal? Would you go see a Disney movie in theaters right now, if you could? Let us know in the comments!

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