Last weekend, a couple of ‘indefinitely postponed’ Disney features obtained reassigned slates. The live-action Mulan will now be charging into theatres this July, after moving away from its erstwhile release date – which was supposed to be last week (sobs*). Black Widow, on the other hand, ziplined to a November 6 spot which had been reserved prior for Chloe Zhao’s The Eternals. This has caused a ripple effect as the MCU’s phase four slate has effectively been postponed. The Eternals will now be arriving in theatres in February next year, Doctor Strange 2 in November 2021, and Thor: Love and Thunder on February 2022.
Indeed, these moves are not at all surprising considering the myriad of calendar shifts that have been going on. It really is numbing to wake up to a new delay every two days or so. However, one particular move by the studio got me pursing my lips, elevating my brows, and letting out a “huh…”. And that is with regard to Artemis Fowl.
Variety reported that the adaptation of Eoin Colfer’s beloved fantasy novel will be skipping theatres entirely and will now debut on Disney+ instead. In a statement, the president of the streaming service, Ricky Strauss, expressed his enthusiasm toward the film’s release on the platform. Here’s what he said:
With audiences largely unable to attend theaters in the current environment, we are thrilled to offer the premiere of Artemis Fowl on Disney Plus. Director Kenneth Branagh and his spectacular cast take viewers right into the vibrant, fantasy world of the beloved book, which fans have been waiting to see brought to life onscreen for years. It’s great family entertainment that is the perfect addition to Disney Plus’ summer lineup.
To me, it seems like Disney has plunged Artemis Fowl thinking that it could potentially bomb at the box office. However, would the studio be recovering their budget through this move? Probably. Eventually. But it’s not going to be walk in the park with the current subscriber count on the platform. How will this move affect theatrical releases in the future? Indeed, these are weird times we live in.
There has not been any confirmation on a release date for Artemis Fowl yet. Nevertheless, the statement from Strauss suggests that it will debut soon as people are still stuck at home due to the coronavirus outbreak. It is rather unfortunate that Disney+ is unavailable in Malaysia as of now. So, while certain countries will get to experience the film first, we will have to wait patiently until the streaming platform rolls out in our region. No worries though, as we are constantly entertained with our memes and remixes throughout this MCO period. We’ll manage.