Bob Chapek, CEO at The Walt Disney Company, informed in a TV interview with the US channel Bloomberg that the company is surprised by the positive reaction shown by consumers to ‘Raya and the Last Dragon’ (Disney Animation Studios), released on Disney+ on March 5th. For this reason, although the company plans to release more titles this year, the decision to release titles in theaters or in PVOD format will depend on consumers.
‘Whether or not premium access becomes a big part of our strategy going forward is really going to be up to consumers. They vote with their pocketbooks and they are going to tell us how they want to watch movies, and we are going to be responsive to the consumer’, he said.
Disney still has a May 7th theatrical release date planned for ‘Black Widow’, the next feature from Marvel Studios. The film was originally slated for a 2020 release, but was delayed. Chapek said his company is waiting to see how consumers respond as theaters reopen in major cities in the US -like New York and Los Angeles- before it decides how the film will hit the market. ‘We will make the call probably at the last minute on how these films come to market, whether it’s ‘Black Widow’ or any other title’, the executive reported.
Earlier this month, Chapek announced that Disney+, recently launched in Latin America, now reaches more than 100 million subscribers globally, after 16 months of its original launch, in November 2019. ‘The great success of Disney+, which now features more than 100 millions subscribers, has inspired us to be even more ambitious, and to significantly increase our investment in the development of high-quality content’, Chapek said during the last Disney’s virtual annual shareholders meeting. The executive also noted that the company is targeting more than 100 new titles per year from its biggest brands including Marvel Studios, Star Wars, Disney Animation and National Geographic. ‘Our direct-to-consumer business is the Company’s top priority, and our robust pipeline of content will continue to fuel its growth’, Chapek said.