Disney deprives theaters of a movie this Christmas to better renegotiate the media chronology

Disney deprives theaters of a movie this Christmas to better renegotiate the media chronology

The question that torments French cinema exhibitors is not There will beyoudoes it snow at Christmas?, title of the pretty film by Sandrine Veysset (1996), but well: will there be Disney films on the screen at the end of the year? The cartoon strangeworld, by Don Hall and Qui Nguyen, produced by the American giant, will be broadcast at the end of November directly on the Disney+ streaming platform, without going through the cinema box. A treatment reserved for France, since this film will be released in theaters in all other countries.

Already, three other Disney animated feature films, Drunk (2020), by Pete Docter and Kemp Powers, Luke (2021), by Enrico Casarosa, and Red alert (2022), by Domee Shi, were only released in France on Disney+, either because of the Covid-19 pandemic, or because the group preferred to boost the number of subscribers to its platform (137.7 million globally). But this time, the reason is quite different. And much more Franco-French.

Coming out of the traditional silence of the American majors, Hélène Etzi, the president of The Walt Disney Company France, justified this decision, Wednesday, June 8, at the Echoes : “It is the consequence of the chronology of the media practiced in France which we consider unfair, restrictive and unsuitable (…) changes in film consumption patterns. » She had already brandished this threat to boycott the big screen before, but the operators did not believe it, believing that Disney would have too much to lose financially and recalling that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, by Sam Raimi, released on May 4, reached 3 million admissions.

Anemic attendance

Only Strange World is, for the time being, affected by these measures, and the situation will be “evaluated film by film and country by country”, according to Disney. For now, Buzz Lightning, by Angus MacLane, will remain in theaters on June 22 and Thor: Love and Thunder, by Taika Waititi, July 13. The suspense remains for two blockbusters, Black Panther, by Ryan Coogler, and the new opus byAvatar, by James Cameron, on which cinemas are seriously counting to boost attendance that is still anemic.

Disney wants to release movies on its platform twelve months, not seventeen, after their theatrical release

The rules of media chronology – the order in which a film can be exploited after its theatrical release: on video, on an encrypted television channel, in the clear, on a streaming platform – have been renegotiated and, since January 24, Disney + can broadcast films seventeen months after their theatrical release, and no longer thirty-six months as before. In return, the platform will finance the production of films, series and fictions up to 20% of its turnover in France. This agreement, which can be reviewed each year, applies to Disney+, even if it has not ratified it.

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