Disney may have ruffled more than a few feathers when they made the decision to pull Mulan from theaters entirely and release it exclusively on their in-house streaming service for a one-off fee, with exhibitors up in arms at the Mouse House’s call to remove one of the most high-profile titles of the year from the big screen at a time when the industry has spent months simply trying to stay afloat.
Fans have been quietly hoping that the studio would end up doing the same with Black Widow, but there would no doubt be even more backlash if the latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe didn’t score a theatrical release. Even if a recent poll revealed that a huge number of people would be happy to watch the movie from the comfort of their own homes.
Disney claimed that Mulan wouldn’t mark a shift in their business model and Black Widow would still be getting a nationwide release in theaters, but a new report indicates that the higher-ups are waiting to see what kind of numbers Niki Caro’s historical actioner pulls in before making a final decision about Scarlett Johansson’s long-awaited solo debut.
As you may’ve noticed, Mulan is already the number one title on Disney Plus despite being locked behind a paywall, and if the $29.99 movie generates enough profit to justify their decision to remove it from the theatrical schedule, then the studio could well decide that the upcoming MCU flick is ripe for a similar treatment.
One positive sign that Black Widow will still hit the big screen in November is the good news that the box office is finally showing some signs of life after months in the doldrums, with Christopher Nolan’s Tenet already the sixth highest-grossing movie of 2020 after raking in almost $150 million in less than two weeks despite the industry still operating at nowhere near maximum capacity. That being said, Disney may decide that dropping it onto their streaming service is the more financially lucrative move in the end and for now, we’ll just have to wait and see what they do.