Disney Pleases Movie Fans, Flexes in Front of National Theater Owners (NATO): Artemis Fowl will be Summer Disney+ Release

The House of Mouse just posed in front of the mirror, pecs, abs, muscles bulging.

Perhaps it’s another month — minimum — of stay at home orders and theaters being closed or it’s the big D further promoting their hit Disney+ service, or maybe they just want to generate some (any!) good press at a time where most press is gloom and doom.

“With audiences largely unable to attend theatres in the current environment, we are thrilled to offer the premiere of ‘Artemis Fowl’ on Disney+,” said Ricky Strauss, President, Content & Marketing, Disney+. “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+’s summer lineup.”

Disney Pulls ‘Artemis Fowl’ From Theaters, Will Debut on Disney+

It will be interesting to see if the National Association of Theater Owners (NATO) snipes at them — the 800 pound gorilla — like they did with Universal for daring to release a new wide release movie outside of theaters.

It should be noted that Disney has pushed most of their titles back, in anticipation and support of theaters opening again … someday. What that landscape will look like whenever that is will largely remain a question of how long they’ve been closed. AMC, the biggest theater chain on the block, seems financially to be the most vulnerable, but time will tell.

My guess is NATO is busy crapping in their collective pants, hoping and praying that more studios don’t start cutting deals to release some of their films on streaming. It’s a fine line to walk: piss off the “exhibitors” (talk about a snobby title, they don’t even consider themselves “movie theaters”) or give people stuck at home some way to see new movies they were hoping to see.

If this pandemic goes into summer, the movie theater busiest months, there could be more titles making the jump. The studios realize there is a captive audience at home right now, eager to watch new movies. The smartest thing they can do is to filter at least some of their content into that pipeline.

If Trolls World Tour opening Friday April 10 — on VOD — does well (buy your virtual tickets, this will matter), mark my words: more new movie titles will be coming.

Not saying it should be the large budget tentpole movies, but the medium and lower budget movies should definitely consider going to the highest streaming bidder and/or VOD with some kind of lucrative split arrangement.

For those reading that think I’m sticking it to the movie theaters when they’re down, nothing could be further from the truth (see: One Big Reason Why Movie Theaters Will Be OK Compared To Streaming). I just want to see some new movies at home during the time so many people are home.

Why can’t we have both? New movies over the next 90 days and new movies when the theaters reopen?

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