Disney has doubled down on its plans to release Black Widow in theaters and its May 7 launch date has not changed.
Speaking at the company’s annual meeting of shareholders (reported by Deadline), Disney CEO Bob Chapek confirmed that the Scarlett Johansson-directed MCU film is still set to hit theaters at the world later this spring. Chapek’s comments follow new speculation that Black Widow’s release will be postponed again due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Like we said, we think it’s important to empower the consumer and let them decide how they want to enjoy our films, especially when we are going through the pandemic,” Chapek said. “We’re really excited about the full list of movies we have in store. Next up is Black Widow, currently hitting theaters on May 7th.”
Will Black Widow Receive a Concurrent Disney Plus Launch?
This is the second time in as many months that Chapek has spoken out on the theatrical release of Black Widow. In February, Chapek said (h / t Deadline) that the film was still in the works for a single theatrical release. However, during the call for the company’s first quarter financial results, Chapek hinted that Black Widow could also land on Disney Plus if the Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact the reopening of theaters in the world.
He said: “We will be watching to see the reopening of theaters and consumer sentiment in terms of returning to the theater.”
Disney has insisted the next Marvel movie will hit theaters, and delaying its launch 12 months ago was proof of that. The film was originally slated for release on May 1, 2020, but has been postponed for a year in light of Covid-19. In January, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige expressed hope for a theatrical release (h / t Deadline), but a Disney Plus launch has not been officially ruled out by anyone.
Recent Disney films including Soul, Mulan and Raya and the Last Dragon have launched on Disney Plus, but the trio have also received theatrical releases in countries where the streamer is currently not available. There is an argument for Black Widow to do the same, especially if Disney and Marvel want as many people as possible to see the movie. If viewers are reluctant to return to theaters anytime soon, achieving a simultaneous launch – while potentially leading to a Disney Plus Premier Access release – may be the way to go.
However, it looks like Disney and Marvel are keen to continue their tradition of bringing MCU movies only to the big screen. If that’s the route they’re taking, we might still see Black Widow’s release window shifted once more.