Due to Coronavirus: Disney Suffer With Movie Delays
Movie Studios are suffering quite a bit with the recent delays due to COVID-19 precautions being taken by the world. Theatres are being shut down and films like Bloodshot and a few others have already suffered massive losses. To prevent these losses, movies are being delayed to be released at a different time in the year, or may be the next year. All film studios will have to delay their films that were supposed to come out in the next 2 months, if not more. Among these, Disney has pushed 4 films already. And the next 2-3 months don’t look promising either.
Not could there be more delays for Disney and the rest of the studios, but the Mouse House is still going to get a big headache rescheduling the movies they’ve already delayed. Mulan, New Mutants, Antlers and Black Widow have been delayed. Even if we assume that the Coronavirus Pandemic will stop within the next 2 months, there’s still no space to fit Black Widow somewhere till August. If things do remain fine and Disney does release Black Widow somewhere in late May, June or July, then they will be facing competition with other big films like Wonder Woman 1984, Top Gun: Maverick, and Free Guy. But an even bigger problem is that they will always face competition with one of their own films scheduled in those months.
Here’s Disney’s release schedule after Black Widow –
Artemis Fowl – May 29
Soul – June 19
Jungle Cruise – July 24
Variety’s report has mentioned the problem that Disney will face in the aftermath of Coronavirus. They wrote:
“But even Disney has its own dilemmas. The studio’s schedule is cleared through Memorial Day, and it has three major movies — “Mulan,” “Black Widow” and “The New Mutants” — without release dates. By dropping one of those films in summer, it could take audiences away from Pixar’s “Soul” (June 19) or “Jungle Cruise” with Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt (July 24), two other films in which Disney has invested heavily. And at this point, there’s no guarantee theaters will be open for those films to debut.”
Films like Black Widow or Mulan will cannibalize these films if they come out anywhere near them or each other. Disney strategically fixes release dates throughout the year so their own films don’t eat each other up and every movie gets an equal chance of making big money at the Box Office. This is how 7 Disney films went past $1 Billion in 2019. But due to four films being delayed, this isn’t possible anymore. And, the worst hasn’t even arrived yet because like likes Artemis Fowl and Soul could also find themselves getting delayed if the delays continue till June. Universal has already pushed Minions 2 back anticipating that the pandemic will continue in June as well.
While releasing Mulan & New Mutants is going to be challenging for Disney, they could face the biggest challenge while releasing Black Widow because it has to come out before The Falcon And The Winter Soldier and Eternals. As of now, August seems to be the right month to release Black Widow. That’s because the film will be away from other Disney projects and enough people will have watched the film to follow the story it sets up for The Falcon And The Winter Soldier. But if the movie goes ahead any longer than that, then the entire Phase 4 slate could be shifted forward. The slate will shift forward anyway if Coronavirus doesn’t allow the productions for the upcoming project to restart. And that will lead to even further losses for Disney and other Studios.
Disney has already taken a big hit at the Stock Market. Their stock value used to be around $150, and it has dropped to below 100 in the last few weeks due to COVID-19. This has led to a loss of $85 Billion already, and analysts are predicting that bigger companies like Apple might buy out Disney. Disney’s (Pixar’s) Onward has suffered the wrath of the Coronavirus at the Box Office. No other films have come out since then. The last film that Disney released before Onward was in January (Fox’s Underwater), and that film also turned out to be a big bomb. So nothing is going right for the mouse house right now. If 2019 was their biggest year, then 2020 is proving to be the worst year for the company.
Disneyland theme parks brought in a huge revenue for Disney, but since all of those have been shut down for precautions against COVID-19, the company is taking big blows from there as well. People are being asked to stay home as crowds shouldn’t gather anywhere in public. So, the only thing that can save Disney is for the world to get rid of COVID-19 somehow.
Anyway, to fix the movie release problem in the aftermath of Coronavirus, Disney probably has 2 solutions:
BluRay, Disney+ & Hulu
Disney could release their films directly on rentals. But that would lead to massive losses as movies like Black Widow & Mulan had big production and marketing budgets. The budgets could be made back if Disney puts them directly on Disney+ and Hulu as if those projects are exciting enough, those streaming services could see a lot of new subscribers. But even with that, a Disney+ subscription only costs $6.99 whereas a theatrical movie ticket and a home rental costs between 14.99-$19.99. So, Disney could only cover their losses if they raise their subscription fee.
Delaying Other Films
Disney’s strategic plan to release all of movies with a gap of least 3-4 weeks has worked out really fine for them. So, to save losses on the films they have already delayed, Disney could actually push all of their films back and start with the same release pattern. What I’m saying is that the films that have been delayed could replace the films that are yet to arrive. In theory, Mulan could arrive on the date of Artemis Fowl (May 29), Black Widow could take Soul’s date (June 19), and those films could then be shifted on a later date replacing other Disney films or releasing sometime during August or September when there isn’t a lot of competition. Let’s see how Disney caters to the massive problem running on their heads right now.