Disney To Celebrate Moviegoing During Oscars With Talent & Exclusive Trailers From ‘West Side Story’, ‘Summer Of Soul’ & More

Despite Disney’s aggressive theatrical-Disney+ Premier day-and-date streaming strategy for Raya and the Last Dragon, Cruella and Black Widow, the Burbank, CA- based studio will make it known during this Sunday’s Oscars that they have not abandoned the theatrical experience.

Today, the studio announced in its advertising sellout of the 93rd Oscars telecast that talent from various upcoming films will share their favorite movie theater experience and introduce their latest film, which will seamlessly transition into the pic’s exclusive trailer running adjacent to the broadcast. “This format reinforces the theme of this year’s show (Bring Your Movie Love) and celebrates the long-awaited return of the in-person movie-going experience,” reads today’s press release.

Adweek reported that Ariana DeBose who plays Anita in Steven Spielberg’s upcoming 20th Century Studios/Amblin release West Side Story will introduce the trailer for that Dec. 10 release, while Disney songwriter and Mary Poppins Returns star Lin-Manuel Miranda will toss to his Warner Bros./HBO Max June 11 movie In the Heights, and Questlove, the Oscars’ musical director, will talk about his upcoming Searchlight/Hulu July 2 docu Summer of Soul.  

The “Bring Your Movie Love” slogan should be a welcomed one by exhibition. Last month, Cinemark, the No. 3 exhibitor, opted not to play Raya and the Last Dragon over a disagreement with Disney over that pic’s rental terms as it was made available on Disney+ Premier for the extra cost of $30.

Disney Sells Out Oscar Ad Inventory Despite Pandemic Uncertainty

While Disney CEO Bob Chapek acknowledged the power of theatrical during Disney Investor Day back in December, explicitly mentioning how theatrical is responsible for creating the franchises which the studio is exploiting on its streaming service in extended series and features, that message changed a tad prior to the most recent theatrical date shift for Black Widow (from the first weekend of May to July 9). In March during a Bloomberg TV interview, Chapek said “We love the theatrical window…We think it’s important for building our franchises. At the same time, we don’t think it’s the only way to do it. … We’ll see what happens over the next couple of months. So much is changing, it’s such a dynamic environment. It’s really hard to predict what’s going to happen with consumer behavior in the next month as it comes to re-emergence back into the world of normal. We’ll be watching the call carefully and make the call when we have to.” His comments were made shortly after NYC and LA theaters reopened theaters.

Disney recently dropped fresh trailers for Cruella, Marvel’s Black Widow and Shang-Chi and the Legend of Ten Rings. There’s plenty we still haven’t seen, i.e. a first look at Marvel’s Nov. 5 release The Eternals directed by Oscar-nominated Nomadland filmmaker Chloe Zhao, a brand new Jungle Cruise trailer starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt (due on July 30) or even 20th Century Studios’ Ridley Scott directed Matt Damon-Ben Affleck-Adam Driver feature The Last Duel (Oct. 15) and Guillermo del Toro’s Searchlight movie Nightmare Alley (Dec. 3).


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