‘Free Guy’ & ‘Shang-Chi’ to run exclusively in cinemas for 45 days
- United States
Disney CEO Bob Chapek has announced that 20th Century Studios' upcoming superhero film 'Free Guy' and Marvel Studios' 'Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings' will run exclusively in theaters for 45 days. He also said after the theatrical run, the movies will be made available on video-on-demand and streaming. Bob Chapek confirmed the news during an earnings call Thursday.
Free Guy will release in the US on August 13 and Shang-Chi to release three weeks later on September 3. Chapek said the decision to release "Shang-Chi" and "Free Guy" exclusively into theaters was based on "recent signs of increased confidence in moviegoing.
The report flashed out just an hour after Disney announced "Jungle Cruise" will debut in cinemas on Disney+ Premier Access on July 30.
The chief analyst at Box office, Shawn Robbins said, "Without a doubt, this is welcome news for theater owners in a world where shorter, but reasonable, windows are no longer taboo."
"Today's news emphasizes an upside to Disney's case-by-case approach when it comes to short-term hybrid releases and long-term game plans by providing stability in expectations for the studio's commitment to both the unique audience experience and the financial potential generated by theatrical exclusivity."
Disney's decision to release 'Free Guy' and 'Shangi-Chi' exclusively on theaters stands in stark contrast to its recent policy of day-and-date release, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Many of Disney's upcoming releases, including 'Cruella' (May 28) and Marvel Studios 'Black Widow' (July 9) are going to be released day-and-date on multiple platforms simultaneously.
Disney has a proven track record of successful theatrical releases, most of which would run weeks in the cinemas. However, the recent pandemic has changed people's movie-viewing experience in favor of VOD and streaming services. The situation has compelled Disney to change its release policy from theatrical to day-and-date. However, 'Free Guy' and 'Shangi-Chi' are an exception to that rule. It remains to be seen how those two upcoming releases play out in the theaters.