Video streaming has always been a force to reckon with but so far it has conveniently stayed out of the theater industry’s way. Films would become available digitally only after cinemas have profited from them, sometimes even a year after the movie premiered. Thanks to COVID-19, however, things are changing a bit and Disney may be dealing the ailing theater market a heavy blow now that it will be official premiering Artemis Fowl only on Disney+ next month.
Disney’s decision to completely skip Artemis Fowl’s theatrical release may be timely but also unheard of. Most studios simply release the digital versions of films earlier than planned or delay the premiere of films in movie houses at a later date. The biggest move prior to this was Universal Pictures releasing VOD copies on the day when the films show in cinemas.
Disney, however, is skipping the lines altogether at least for Artemis Fowl. It has decided to debut the movie on Disney+ on June 12 and only on Disney+. It’s a rather bold move that is clearly intended to grab more subscribers within the next 30 days. It also reveals just how much power Disney has, perhaps even to the detriment of others.
The Artemis Fowl film revolves around the eponymous boy from the hit fiction novel series. An anti-hero through and through, the young Fowl is not what many kids would probably want to have as a role model. Of course, being Disney, you can be sure it has more or less toned down some of those elements in this streaming, formerly big screen, adaptation.
While Artemis Fowl’s fate is already sealed, other Disney movies are still in limbo at this point. Mulan, which was supposed to premiere last month, is scheduled for late July while Black Widow will swing into action in November instead of May. Disney is unlikely to take the same Disney+ route given how high-profile these two films are and how limited Disney+’s coverage currently is.