As we near the spring and movie theaters are still facing widespread closures, Marvel fans have been wondering if Black Widow could skip its big-screen release and go straight to streaming, like Soul, or at least drop simultaneously in cinemas and on Disney Plus, like Mulan. As things stand, however, the Scarlett Johansson vehicle remains on course to hit theaters in May, as confirmed by Disney CEO Bob Chapek.
As per Deadline, Chapek gave the update during the studio’s FYQ1 earnings call this Thursday. He revealed that Black Widow is still aiming for a purely theatrical release, although “we’ll be watching to see the reopening of theaters and consumer sentiment in terms of going back to theater”. Should the pandemic cool by the fifth month of the year, and cinemas in key places like New York and Los Angeles reopen, then the first film in the MCU’s Phase 4 will finally arrive.
If that does happen, then the pressure will be on Black Widow to reignite the public’s thirst for seeing movies on the silver screen again instead of staying safe at watching them at home. And if any movie could take that pressure it would be a Marvel Studios production. But, of course, that all depends on how the situation improves over the next three months.
When asked about how they decide which films stick with a theatrical window and which go up on Disney Plus, Chapek confirmed that Disney is taking it on a case-by-case basis and is not employing a blanket strategy like Warner Bros. is with HBO Max. He revealed that it “depends on our slate of titles and whether we need to put something on the service.”
Chapek also refused to come clean about specific figures for how Soul performed on the streaming service over Christmas, only saying “it was successful to the extent that we’re also using that strategy on Raya and the Last Dragon.” The Mouse House’s next animated flick is due out on March 5th. It’s possible that two months after that, almost to the day, we could be sitting down to watch Black Widow in cinemas.