September 10, 2021
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Walt Disney Co will release “Eternals,” “West Side Story” and the rest of its 2021 films exclusively in theaters before making them available on streaming, the company said in a statement on Friday.
The company had experimented during the COVID-19 pandemic with debuting some movies on the Disney+ streaming service at the same time they ran in theaters. Cinema operators have been closely watching how Disney, which has dominated the box office in recent years, would handle its upcoming slate as the Delta variant slowed the return of movie going.
Disney said animated musical “Encanto” will play in theaters for 30 days starting Nov. 24 and head to Disney+ just before Christmas.
All other Disney releases, including Marvel movie “Eternals” and Steven Spielberg’s revival of “West Side Story,” will play exclusively in cinemas for at least 45 days, the company said.
(Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Chris Reese)
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