Disney CEO Defends Black Widow’s Release To Disney+ And Theaters

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Last year was a wild one, as global health concerns brought the entertainment industry to a screeching halt. Countless movies were delayed as a result, including the long-awaited Marvel blockbuster Black Widow. The movie is finally set arrive in July, and Disney CEO Bob Chapek recently defended plans to release Black Widow in both theaters and streaming on Disney+.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is known for making an insane amount of money at the box office, with every installment of Phase Three managing to accrue buckets to cash. It’s for this reason that the studio pushed back the release of Black Widow, Eternals, and Shang-Chi. But ScarJo’s solo movie is finally arriving, and Bob Chapek spoke to Black Widow’s two-pronged release, saying:

One of the things we learned is that flexibility is good. We’re really celebrating that flexibility .. we’re trying to offer consumers more choice.

Touche. While it may come at the cost of box office numbers, studios like Marvel and Warner Bros. haven been making movies available straight to homes for those who might be nervous returning the movies. Although a highly anticipated title like Black Widow might be just the type of project to encourage fans to finally step back into a theater.

Bob Chapek’s comments on the Disney earnings call (via Deadline) offers a peek behind the curtain within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While Black Widow likely won’t make as much money at the box office as it would have pre-pandemic, it seems that Disney is ok with that compromise during this unprecedented time. Plus, those who want to watch Cate Shortland’s blockbuster on Disney+ won’t be able to do it free of charge.

Marvel fans can re-watch Black Widow’s time in the MCU so far on Disney+. You can use this link to sign up for the streaming service.

Given how theaters around the world were shut down or at limited capacity, studios had to adjust in a way the industry never has before. Warner Bros. made the decision to release new movies to HBO Max for a limited time at no extra fee. For the House of Mouse, new releases were brought to Disney+, but for an additional charge over the application’s subscription fee. Although Black Widow marks the first (and likely only) time this has happened to a Marvel blockbuster.

Black Widow was delayed time and time again last year, as the plan for vaccinations and theaters reopening remained unclear. It’s likely for this reason that the studio has committed to the movie arriving in July, and is encouraging fans to pick how they’d like to watch it. Phase Four opened with shows on Disney+, but Marvel fans are still ravenous for a full movie experience.

Anticipation for Black Widow starting rising as soon as the project was announced, with fans thrilled to finally see Scarlett Johansson’s title character get a solo movie. The interest only increased when Natasha sacrificed herself in Avengers: Endgame, as Black Widow has the chance to offer new context to that decision. Plus, we’ll learn more about her backstory and will be introduced to Nat’s first chosen family.

Black Widow will arrive on July 9th. In the meantime, check out the 2021 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.