The Walt Disney Co. has announced to release the highly-anticipated film Eternals, West Side Story and the rest of its 2021 films exclusively in theaters before sending them to digital streaming channels.
In an announcement on Friday, it has been said that the company had experimented during the pandemic with debuting some movies on the Disney+ streaming service at the same time they ran in theaters.
Cinema operators have been closely watching how Disney, which has dominated movie box offices in recent years, would handle its upcoming slate as the Delta variant slowed audiences’ return to multiplexes.
Disney further said in a statement that animated musical Encanto will play in theaters for 30 days starting Nov. 24 and head to Disney+ just before Christmas. The film revolves around the story of a family who live in a magical house in the mountains of Colombia. It includes music written by Hamiltoncreator Lin-Manuel Miranda.
All other Disney releases, including Marvel movie Eternals in November and Steven Spielberg’s revival of West Side Story in December.
Disney’s most recent film, Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, marked a Labour Day weekend record with $94.7 million in ticket sales at US and Canadian theaters. The film, featuring a predominantly Asian cast including Simu Liu and Awkwafina, played only at cinemas. - Reuters