Hot topics | Coronavirus pandemic

Disney Chief Says Studio is Closely Watching How Family Films Play in Cinemas as It Plots Streaming Strategy

Disney Chief Says Studio is Closely Watching How Family Films Play in Cinemas as It Plots Streaming Strategy

Even when COVID-19 finally became a thing of the past, the distribution shifts that helped usher in across the movie business could be here to stay, Bob Chapek said Wednesday.

We know that we're in a moment of flux, said Chapek on sa conference call shortly after the company reported its quarterly results. COVID will be in the rearview mirror, God willing, [in 2022] but changing consumer behavior is not going away.

Disney hasn't solidified plans for 2022 and beyond with this in mind. In the worst of COVID-19, Disney sent films like Artemis Fowl and Soul straight to Disney Plus on the streaming service on day they debuted in cinemas. The company has not solidized plans on making films available in 2021, but has still not said how it plans to, now, and next.

We did that so we can get our movies back to Disney Plus faster, said Chapek.

The company was closely monitoring how its films, particularly those pegged at young audiences, were performing in theaters on Nov. 24 and the West Side Story adaptation of Steven Spielberg, which is hitting the big screen on Dec. 10th.

We are watching carefully what the market is going to react to the situation when family films come back with a theatrical first exclusive window.

The Disney chief pledged that we will have a fairly short window for these movies.

Chapek noted that many of the companys biggest franchises began their lives as cinema events, but he also suggested that Disney would remain attuned to consumer behavior even if it were at the expense of that platform.

Chapek said we'll do what's best for our shareholders.