Flexibility is the future of cinema exhibition, says Disney CEO Bob Chapek

Says hybrid, exclusive OTT releases will dominate cinema exhibitions.

Mumbai: So how does the world of cinematic exhibition look like currently and how will it shape up beyond the pandemic? To get a perspective, let's take a look at how Walt Disney CEO Bob Chapek sees it. Speaking at the JP Morgan media summit last week, Chapek summarised the future of cinema exhibition in a single word, ''flexibility.''

Chapek revealed that the Covid pandemic has redefined cinema exhibition, with customer behaviour changing due to the new normal. According to Chapek, ''flexibility'' plays a crucial role in determining the future of cinematic exhibition, where films will be either released in theatres with a short window before going the OTT way or a hybrid release mechanism where movies are streamed simultaneously in theatres as well as OTT platforms, distinct from exclusive OTT premieres. 

"We are looking at exclusive theatrical releases with a dramatically short window between the first and second offerings or a simultaneous theatrical premiere along with our Disney+ offering and our direct Disney+ premieres. We are trying to offer consumers more choices as they gain confidence in how they want to return to theatres. It helps us build our franchises. But as we have seen domestic box offices, it seems to be recovering in some markets. But we are seeing some hesitancy in returning to normal like back in 2019," said Chapek. 

Chapek added that shortening the theatrical window before OTT releases to 45 days was necessary as audiences are less patient to watch their favourite content. “We are celebrating the flexibility that we have gotten into. If you are a fan, six weeks is a long time. Six days, maybe, but consumers are driving for shorter windows. They have the power to take that call and we are a consumer-friendly company. We saw a lot of midnight fervour when new content was released on Disney plus. And that is the reason why we chose the 45-day theatrical window," revealed Chapek. 

Citing the example of Black Widow, he said big movies that demand a theatrical watch will be released on big screens, and also have a simultaneous OTT release that will allow people to enjoy the flick in the comfort and safety of their homes as well. 

"If it is a big tent pole theatrical franchise, fans tend to consume the film in theatres. For Black Widow, we had to give the theatrical exhibition a chance, but we didn’t put all our eggs in the same basket. We gave the consumers a choice; watch it in a theatre or in the safety of your homes. The theatrical marketplace will recover more fully, in time. Flexibility is a good thing," added Chapek.

Black Widow is one of the most anticipated Hollywood movies of the year, as it is the 24th installment in the much-celebrated Marvel Cinematic Universe. Starring Scarlett Johanssen in the lead role, the film will hit theatres on 09 July, along with a simultaneous Disney+ Premium streaming for US$30.  

Latest Reads
Taapsee Pannu-starrer 'Rashmi Rocket' to directly premiere on Zee5

Mumbai: Video streaming platform Zee5 is set to premiere Tapsee Pannu-starrer sports drama "Rashmi Rocket" on 15 October. The film is produced by Ronnie Screwvala, Neha Anand and Pranjal Khandhdiya under RSVP and Mango People Media.

Movies Hindi
Prime Video to stream original film ‘Sardar Udham’ in October

Mumbai: Amazon Prime Video has announced its new original film "Sardar Udham," which will begin streaming in October. “With every story that we present on Amazon Prime Video, we ensure that the narrative is replete with emotions and depth that finds a place in the heart of every viewer,” said...

Movies Hindi
Viacom18 Studios, Dharma Productions ink four-film distribution deal

Mumbai: Viacom18 Studios on Wednesday announced its partnership with Dharma Productions on four Hindi films meant for theatrical, broadcast, and streaming distribution. The titles which are part of this deal are in various stages of production and are expected to release over the next 18- 24 months.

Movies Hindi
2021 global cinema revenues drop to half of pre-pandemic levels

The total revenues generated by the global cinema industry are set to reach only 50 per cent of 2019’s pre-Covid revenues according to Omdia’s latest Cross-Sector Windows report.

Movies Hindi
T-Series, Reliance Entertainment ink a 10-film deal at Rs 1K cr investment

Mumbai: Film production houses T-Series and Reliance Entertainment have joined forces to produce more than 10 films together across varied genres with an investment of approximately Rs 1000 crore. The production houses together will produce big-budget tentpole projects as well as mid-small budget...

Movies Hindi
Horror movies bring good news for global box office

Movie theaters have been struggling to maintain a reopening momentum after being shuttered throughout 2020 due to the coronavirus. The problem has been magnified because many high-profile franchise films have been released in theatres and on streaming services at the same time.

Movies Hindi
Indian Film Exporters Association renamed to include all content owners

Mumbai: Indian Film Exporters Association has been renamed as Entertainment Content Owners Association of India (ECOA) to adapt with the changing times. The association has also unveiled its new contemporary logo to reflect its refreshed identity. "ECOA is symbolic of the changing times &...

Movies Hindi
Marvel’s 'Shang-Chi' strikes gold in theatres

Mumbai: The global release of Marvel Studios’ "Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings" has grossed $127.6 million over three days. This includes domestic box office earnings of $71.4 million and international earnings of $56.2 million including the countries Brazil, France, Germany, Hong Kong,...

Movies International

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories

* indicates required