Disney says there is no ‘turning back’ to old model of movie distribution

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The COVID-19 pandemic has definitely changed the distribution model of the film industry, and Walt disney (NYSE: DIS) CEO Bob Chapek says there is no “going back” like there used to be.

The experiments he and other movie studios conducted during the coronavirus outbreak changed consumer expectations forever, and the 90-day theater exclusivity is likely a thing of the past.

Image source: Getty Images.

Bring down the curtain

Industry site The Wrap reports that Chapek made the comments during a question-and-answer session at Morgan Stanley’s Tech, Media & Telecom virtual conference yesterday.

“The consumer is probably more impatient than ever before, especially since they now have the luxury of an entire year of getting headlines at home pretty much anytime they want,” did he declare. “So I’m not sure there’s a turning back. But we certainly don’t want to do something like chop off a theatrical show.”

It’s at least a nod to the importance cinemas still have for blockbuster movies, but it suggests to movie theater owners AMC Entertainment Holdings, Cinemark, and Regal Cinemas face a difficult future.

While AMC and Cinemark have signed agreements with ComcastUniversal Pictures at shorten the theater window exclusivity at just 17 days, there were promises of revenue sharing after the movies went to streaming as well as expanding theatrical release if the movie hit a certain dollar threshold on opening weekend .

Disney is planning a release date and date of Raya and the last dragon for this Friday, simultaneously releasing the film in theaters and on VOD, but with a $ 30 bounty attached, even for Disney + subscribers, similar to how it released the live-action remake Mulan.

While Chapek says that the number of open cinemas and consumer will come back influence the decision in the short term, it is also the result of “fundamental changes in consumer behavior, which could be more profound”.

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Rich Duprey has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares and recommends Walt Disney. The Motley Fool recommends Comcast. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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