plans to release two more movies on its streaming service on the same days as their theatrical release, dealing a fresh blow to theater chains.
+, at the same time as in theaters. That is a two-month delay from the expected May release date. “Cruella,” another Disney title, will debut on Disney+ and in theaters on May 28.
Both movies will cost Disney+ subscribers an additional $30.
In addition, Pixar’s “Luca” will be offered over Disney+ on June 8 with a theatrical release not yet announced.
The announcement is, which have just been given the go-ahead to reopen in critical moviegoing markets like Los Angeles and New York City.
(ticker: AMC), the largest chain operator, fell 14.6% on Tuesday. Since touching below $2 in January, the shares have staged a massive comeback on reopening optimism, not to mention enthusiasm from retail investors trying to fight bearish calls from Wall Street pros.
AMC shares are up 231% in the last year, compared with the 75% one-year gain.
Other theater operators also reacted.
(CNK), the third-largest chain, fell 7.3% on Tuesday, while shares of
(MCS) declined 8.3%. Cineworld (CINE), which operates the Regal cinema chain in the U.S., fell 5.7%.
Disney (DIS) shares fell 2.1% on Tuesday.
Other Hollywood studios have tried to walk a line between streaming and theatrical release, with several would-be blockbusters pushed off until later this year. AMC and Cinemark struck agreements with
Universal to show movies exclusively in theaters, though with a significantly shortened window until they moved to streaming.
streaming service at the same times as theaters.
Disney is supporting its relatively new streaming platform in an attempt to meet customer demand for at-home entertainment.
“Today’s announcement reflects our focus on providing consumer choice and serving the evolving preferences of audiences,” said
the chairman of Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution, in a statement. “By leveraging a flexible distribution strategy in a dynamic marketplace that is beginning to recover from the global pandemic, we will continue to employ the best options to deliver.”
Disney released “Raya and the Last Dragon” earlier this month on streaming and in theaters, but Cinemark didn’t show it, denting Disney’s first weekend box office sales. At the time, analysts called it thesome control.
Regal cinemas plans to reopen U.S. locations starting April 2, like others with limited occupancy and other public-health restrictions. Its first weekend will feature Warner Brothers’ “Godzilla vs. Kong,” and the studio’s “Mortal Kombat” will show April 16.
But it also
Warner to show movies exclusively in theaters before their streaming release, beginning next year.