Disney reschedules release dates of its upcoming movies in 2020

With the COVID-19 pandemic temporarily shutting down movie theaters, Disney has rescheduled the release dates of its upcoming slate of movies. Announcing the new dates, Disney new CEO Bob Chapek said in the Q2 earnings call, “On the studio side, we’re incredibly excited about our upcoming slate of films. However, with theaters closed and our production shutdown due to COVID-19, we’ve had to reschedule a number of release dates for Temple [Phonetic] movies. These include Disney’s Mulan for 24 July, Marvel’s Black Widow for 6 November, Pixar’s Soul on 20 November and 20th Century’s Free Guy set for 11 December.”
Another upcoming title, Artemis Fowl which was originally slated for a theatrical run will debut exclusively on Disney+ (Disney+Hotstar in India) on 12 June. Chapek also mentioned that the company’s top priority and key focus of growth lies in its direct to consumer business.  Disney grossed about $13 billion from the worldwide box office in 2019, with a record number of $1 billion releases. In India too, Disney had a phenomenal record in 2019 in terms of box office earnings However, things went haywire in 2020 with the Coronavirus outbreak and as Disney senior executive vice president and chief financial officer Christine M. McCarthy mentioned during the Q2 earnings call, “Worldwide theatrical results in the second quarter were adversely impacted by higher bad debt reserves for receivables due from exhibitors and by lower revenue due to the closure of theaters around the world. In aggregate, the performance of key titles in the quarter, which included Frozen 2, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and Onward was comparable to key theatrical titles in Q2 last year, which included Captain Marvel, Mary Poppins Returns and Dumbo. We feel the performance of Onward was particularly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic given its release date relative to when theaters began to close.” Disney has always remained a fan-favourite across the globe since its inception with notable classic franchises to its credit. Former Disney CEO and current Disney executive chairman and chairman of the Board, Robert A (Bob) Iger believes that the key to the company’s resilience is the strength of its brands like – Disney Animation Studios, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars, and the strong emotional connect people have with them.   In fact, recent studies have shown that the House of Mouse has maintained that connection with consumers even throughout this crisis. Added Iger in the earnings call, “We have a tremendous collection of assets and…what we create is appreciated now more than ever because people find comfort and inspiration in our stories, messages of hope and optimism. This is the same reason we believe people will resume familiar activities they missed doing, once this crisis ends. Things that make them happy and connected with family and friends. Whether it’s going to movie theaters to see our films or visiting our theme parks and so on. They want to experience joy and the feeling of togetherness. And for all these reasons, we will continue to tell stories that uplift and enrich people’s lives.” Well, we can’t wait to experience another Disney film in theaters soon!