Marvel has many films that were pushed back from their initial 2020/2021 release dates. That has lead to Marvel and Disney having multiple completed films that have been left unreleased for a year or more. While fans are anxious to see the latest installment in the MCU Disney may have confirmed further push back for Black Widow during the Q1 earnings call for 2021.
Black Widow has been pushed back a full year from its initial May 1, 2020 release date to its new May 7, 2021 release date. Marvel’s The Eternals another highly anticipated film has also been pushed back a year from its initial release date, now scheduled to debut in theaters on November 5, 2021. It is likely Black Widow will be delayed once again.
Here is a quick synopsis of the film from Marvel that stars Scarlett Johansson, David Harbour, Florence Pugh, O-T Fagbenle, and Rachel Weisz and is directed by Cate Shortland :
In Marvel Studios’ action-packed spy thriller “Black Widow,” Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises. Pursued by a force that will stop at nothing to bring her down, Natasha must deal with her history as a spy and the broken relationships left in her wake long before she became an Avenger.
As theaters fight to remain solvent, some studios continue to push large films released back that could bring fans in to fill seats. Some movies have seen all digital releases such as Universal’s Trolls World Tour, which was considered a great financial success. Other films have had a simultaneous digital and theatrical release. For example, Disney will be releasing their next Disney Princess movie, Raya and the Last Dragon to both theaters and digital on the same day.
But why have Marvel movies been continuously pushed back with no indication of a digital or theatrical release?
In Disney’s Q1 earnings call, CEO Bob Chapek had this to say about what the Walt Disney Company’s intentions are with Black Widow:
Right. So I’m going to go back to the word flexibility because we had made a reference at the investor conference that Black Widow was going to be a theatrical release, and we are still intending it to be a theatrical release. But again, we are going to be watching very carefully the reopening of theaters and the consumer sentiment in terms of desire to go back to theaters to see whether that strategy needs to be revisited. But as of now, the strategy is to continue on with the theatrical release, and we’ll be watching very, very carefully.
While the company is remaining flexible, “the strategy right now is to continue on with the theatrical release…”.
So the option for a digital release or a simultaneous digital and theatrical release is still on the table for Black Widow, but it is not the path Disney is choosing to take at this time. As other Marvel films have not been announced as going to digital we assume that the same strategy is being used with The Eternals, Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings, and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
While Marvel has not released any new movies in over a year, they have given fans a new series, WandaVision on Disney+. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will debut just two weeks after the season finale of WandaVision.
It could be possible that Disney would want to spread out the Marvel content between Disney+ and the theaters instead of all Marvel content relying on one platform for success. That is our own speculation though based on Disney’s insistence that Marvel films such as Black widow will head to theaters. Disney has not elaborated further on Marvel movies sticking to theatrical releases.
Could this strategy end up hurting Marvel movies? No one can be certain how these decisions for releasing films to digital, digital and theatrical, or theatrical release only will impact the performance of a movie financially, critically, or with the fans. We will just have to wait and see.
Do you think Marvel and Disney should release Black Widow in theaters or on Disney+? Let us know in the comments.