Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will get a Nov. 9 release date in France, but the country’s unbelievably antiquated “windowing” system which requires a jaw-dropping 17 months between theatrical releases and streaming releases holds bad news for French Disney Plus subscribers. Despite ongoing negotiations over the current policy it currently looks as if subscribers will have to wait until Spring to see the upcoming MCU film in the comfort of their own domiciles.
This January, the former windowing system of 17 months was somewhat overhauled but under its current strictures Disney will still have to wait five to six months before it streams to French consumers, a fact that leaves execs at the company more than a little froid. In a statement made to Deadline, the studio noted:
“As we have stated before, we believe the chronology is anti-consumer and puts all studios at increased risk for piracy, which is why the majority of the stakeholders agree that it needs to be completely revised. We will remain actively engaged in the upcoming meetings and we will work closely with the CNC, the Ministry of Culture and the various other stakeholders in order to try and find a quick and equitable solution for all parties. In the meantime, we will continue to make future release decisions on a film-by-film basis.”
This isn’t the first time the House of Mouse has stood toe-to-toe with La Belle France regarding its outdated release policies. Over the summer the company opted to forego theatrical release for Strange World altogether, making the film available solely to Disney Plus subscribers. Disney was also pointedly not among the signatories of the recent January agreement regarding video-on-demand release periods.
Under the current terms, Disney’s French theatrical titles cannot be purchased until four months after their debut. a further output deal makes them available to France’s premium television channel, Canal Plus after six months. The titles cannot stream on Disney Plus until 17 months after theatrical release. Further complicating the matter, the title only streams on Disney Plus for five months after which it ceases to stream on Disney and is made available to France’s free-to-air channels for an exclusive period of 14 months. The film will then, finally, revert to Disney Plus after a total period from theatrical release to final streaming rights of 36 months.
What’s French for “Spoiler alert?”