A new rumor details that Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow could be released straight to streaming.
The rumor comes from YouTuber Grace Randolph.
Randolph wrote on Twitter, “So I did some digging with all the chatter today and apparently Disney is considering releasing not just Black Widow but also Mulan straight to streaming.”
She added, “Price points, purchase vs rental, when to Disney Plus all still up in the air.”
She concluded, “Developing…”
Price points, purchase vs rental, when to #DisneyPlus all still up in the air.
— Grace Randolph (@GraceRandolph) March 28, 2020
Randolph would elaborate on YouTube.
She states, “As I tweeted last night, the mouse is seriously considering releasing Mulan, which just passed its original release date, and Black Widow, which wasn’t supposed to come out til the 1st of May, so they have a little time on that, to streaming.”
She adds, “I’d like to stress this is something Disney is considering and they will likely make a decision in the next month or so. If Mulan, luckily being decided first, and if that works out Black Widow following suit, and probably a lot of other movies from other studios too.”
Randolph believes Mulan and Black Widow would first be released for purchase before they are added to Disney Plus. She believes they could be available on VOD for purchase or rent for at least a month or two months before it arrives on Disney Plus. She believes Disney will more than likely make them available to purchase rather than a 48-hour rental. However, she believes the price point will be somewhere between $24.99 and $29.99.
In an interesting twist, Randolph states, “My guess is that they will cut the theaters in to this to some degree, and that will also account for the higher price point.”
As for why Disney would release Black Widow and Mulan to VOD, Randolph explains, “After the Fox acquisition, they are vulnerable financially, they are still are carrying debt. They just raised a bunch of revenue through debt. And so Disney, to be honest with you, is trying to stave off a potential takeover bid.”
She adds, “Disney also has theme park employees that they are right, because it would just be PR nightmare if they didn’t, they are currently paying them even though they aren’t working. So all of these employees need to get some kind of money even if it’s just a fraction of their usual salary. So to have money coming in from this kind of digital release would allow the studios to be able to at least pay something on the dollar; some fraction.”
Randolph then believes the earliest theaters could open is in August, and even if they do open then a lot of Americans might choose not to attend due to financial strains and health concerns.
If they do end up releasing the films in theaters at a later date, Randolph believes they would have to start a new ad campaign and that ad campaign could be lost because people won’t be attending theaters like they had previously done. “Why throw more money after bad?”, Randolph states.
MCU Cosmic’s Jeremy Conrad also believes it’s possible that Disney might release Black Widow to VOD. He writes, “Disney isn’t going to sit on a movie for over a year just because anonymous fans on social media demand it be released the way they want it to be. Fans have to prepare themselves for the new reality that we’re living in where we might not see Black Widow premiere on the big screen…”
Black Widow actor David Harbour even believes it would be a good idea to be able to stream Black Widow. He told The Independent, “My publisher also sent me an email saying Black Widow had been postponed and I think I replied ‘shocker.'”
He added, “Wouldn’t it be fun if we all could just stream it? But that’s above my pay grade.”
However, Mikey Sutton believes Black Widow will not go to VOD. Sutton believes Disney won’t want to miss out on the opportunity of Black Widow making over $1 billion at the global box office.
“Black Widow is not Bloodshot, which Sony abruptly transferred to VOD after theaters shut down due to the C-virus. At a budget perhaps over $150 million (in contrast to $45 million for Bloodshot), Black Widow is expected to be another $1 billion+ blockbuster from Marvel Studios. Disney is counting on that, and so are thousands of movie theaters throughout the world and their employees.”
“Disney is among those rare companies that reward fans with the money they pour into it. Thanks to the success of the MCU, they delivered us The Infinity War and Endgame and huge upcoming mini-series for Disney+ starring members of the Avengers.”
Sutton also believes the whole rumor is a charade in order to get people to click on “outrageous bullshit.”
“After theaters began to temporarily close and Marvel Studios productions held off work, I knew the click-bait was going to happen. The massive lies to fool fans into click click clicking all sorts of outrageous bullshit to make them mad and share with others. We saw this happen with Spider-Man and Sony. It’s why many of you know me, right? I went against it all, shed the light of truth on what was really happening.”
He does believe the only way that Disney would release Black Widow to VOD would be in a Mad Max scenario:
“The only way I see Disney cancelling Black Widow for a theatrical release is that the world looks like Mad Max outside, people running around in mohawks and shooting each other up in some desert apocalypse. At which point we’d be too busy dodging bullets to watch anything on TV.”
He concludes, “Black Widow missing the cinema will anger theater chains like you wouldn’t believe, especially if the C-virus stabilizes by this summer…Disney will not offset their current losses by unleashing Black Widow on VOD.”
ComicBookMovie also reports that they reached out to a contact at Disney who told them that “the film is definitely still set for a theatrical release at some point.”
What do you make of this rumor? Do you think Black Widow could hit VOD or do you think it’s purely a rumor?