Black Widow is one of the most anticipated movies this year. Why not; it's the first movie in MCU Phase 4 after a gap of more than a year, it will finally delve into Natasha Romanoff's mysterious character, and it looks like a proper MCU action movie. But COVID-19 lockdowns have ensured that the original Black Widow May 1 release date is postponed to November 2020. Some reports suggest Black Widow will go directly to streaming. However, we believe it will be and should be delayed to 2021 for a theatrical release. Here's why.
First things first, Disney had this year announced that Mulan in March and Black Widow in May would be its big releases for first half of the year. However, Mulan was delayed to July then August, and finally moved to a digital release on Disney+.
It will be available starting September 6 at a rental price of $30 in the US, but will see a theatrical release in certain markets. That's it for Mulan.
But Black Widow is a different ballgame.
Yes, Mulan could also have become a billion-dollar grosser at the box office. But a Disney+ release helps the studio fill the gap in the streaming service's content lineup and will also allow them to cut losses on Mulan's marketing spree.
However, Black Widow exclusive release on Disney+ doesn't make sense. Firstly, Black Widow will almost certainly make more than a billion dollars. That sort of amount can never be recovered from online streaming, and could harm the Marvel brand.
Next, Black Widow isn't too time sensitive. It is based after Captain America: Civil War and touches upon Natasha Romanoff's origins. Considering it doesn't reveal too much of the future of MCU, fans can do without it for a few months.
Now comes the Disney+ problem. As I mentioned, Mulan fits in perfectly into the release schedule for the streaming service. There aren't many Disney releases coming up this year so Mulan could be a good way to propel the subscriber base.
In the case of Marvel, however, we have two big Web series slated for Disney+. These are The Falcon And The Winter Soldier and WandaVision. Fitting in Black Widow somewhere in the middle doesn't make sense.
Disney+ is very new right now and big releases on the platform will ruin the experience for millions of fans who do not have access to the streaming service. This can be seen in the case of Mulan which might not come to Disney+ Hotstar in India.
Thus, seeing all of these factors in play, we can conclude that it makes perfect business and creative sense for Disney to postpone until next year, and release it sometime in the first half of 2021.
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