- Disney said on Friday it will release the remainder of its 2021 movies exclusively in theatres.
- Musical “Encato” will play for 30 days, while another five movies will have a 45-day window.
- Scarlett Johansson filed a lawsuit against Disney in July for “Black Widow’s” dual-release.
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Disney plans to release the remainder of its 2021 movies exclusively in theatres, the company announced on Friday.
Most will be played in cinemas for more than a month before arriving on its Disney+ streaming platform.
The move follows the company’s latest box-office success with Marvel’s “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” which was released only in theatres on September 3.
The film broke the Labor Day weekend record, by pulling in a robust $US94 ($AU128) million, according to Variety.
Disney said its animated musical fantasy “Encato” will be released in theatres before Thanksgiving, on November 24, and will play for 30 days. The movie, which includes music written by award-winning Hamilton composer Lin-Manuel Miranda, tells the story of a family who lives in a magical house in the mountains of Colombia.
Another five releases will play in theatres for at least 45 days, the company said. Marvel’s “Eternals” is set for a November release, while Steven Spielberg’s live-action musical “West Side Story” will debut in December.
The other films include historical drama “The Last Duel,” science-fiction comedy “Ron’s Gone Wrong,” and period spy film “The King’s Man.”
Since the pandemic forced theatres across the country to close, Disney+ and other streaming services experimented by debuting movies at the same time online and in theaters.
The live-action Mulan remake had a dual release, as did “Wonder Woman 1984,” and “Black Widow.” The latter led to a lawsuit filed by its star, Scarlett Johansson, who claimed the move violated her contract.
“There is no merit whatsoever to this filing,” a Disney spokesperson said. “The lawsuit is especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Disney previously reported that “Black Widow” made $US158 ($AU215) million in its global box-office opening. It also said the movie grossed more than $US60 ($AU82) million from Disney+ Premier Access purchases as part of its $US218.8 ($AU297) million opening weekend haul.
With the Friday announcement, the company indicated confidence in audiences wanting to go back to theatres, despite the US grappling with a surge in cases driven by the Delta variant.