Disney+ just got an Avengers-sized boost for the summer.
Disney announced on Tuesday that Marvel’s anticipated “Black Widow,” a solo film for Scarlett Johansson’s secret-agent superhero, is moving from its May 7 theatrical date and will now release on July 9 simultaneously in theaters and on the Disney+ streaming service.
The live-action film “Cruella,” a Disney villainess prequel starring Emma Stone, is also shifting to a day-and-date plan for its May 28 release as movie theaters around the country slowly reopen after being shut due to COVID-19.
Both “Cruella” and “Black Widow” will be available on Disney+ via an additional “Premier Access” charge like last year’s “Mulan” and the recent “Raya and The Last Dragon.”
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Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) gets her solo Marvel movie with "Black Widow." (Photo: MARVEL STUDIOS)
“Today’s announcement reflects our focus on providing consumer choice and serving the evolving preferences of audiences,” Kareem Daniel, chairman of Disney’s media and entertainment distribution division, said in a statement. With these moves, the company wanted to leverage “its flexible distribution strategy in a dynamic marketplace that is beginning to recover from the global pandemic.”
Other Disney movies are also shifting dates and/or distribution methods. Like the Christmas release of “Soul,” Pixar’s “Luca” will now stream exclusively on Disney+ June 18. As for the theatrical releases, the Ryan Reynolds action comedy “Free Guy” is shifting from May 21 to Aug. 13, Marvel’s “Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” is moving from July 9 to Sept. 3, and the “Kingsman” action franchise prequel “The King’s Man” goes from Aug. 20 to Dec. 22.
In addition, the psychological thriller “Deep Water” is being delayed from Aug. 13 to Jan. 14, and the star-studded Agatha Christie adaptation “Death on the Nile” – with Gal Gadot and the currently under-fire Armie Hammer – is being punted from Sept. 17 to Feb. 11.
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