Bad news for Christopher Nolan -- it seems that if theatrical releases may be a thing of the past, at least according to Disney CEO, Bob Chapek. On Monday, the exec elucidated how the past year's events may permanently change cinema, with no going back.
“The consumer is probably more impatient than they've ever been before," Chapek explained while speaking at Morgan Stanley's Technology, Media and Telecommunications Conference earlier this week, according to The Wrap. "Particularly since now they've had the luxury of an entire year of getting titles at home pretty much when they want them. So, I'm not sure there’s going back. But we certainly don't want to do anything like cut the legs off a theatrical exhibition run."
Yet with fewer theaters in operation even in a post-pandemic world, this may not pose as large of an issue. "Obviously, theaters aren't going to be 100% back. But it's nice to know that we've got the ability for people who do want to enjoy it in their home -- because they don't quite feel confident in going to a movie theater -- that they've got that choice," he continued. "What this looks like in the future? Well, we're going to gain a lot of experience and a lot of data points."
Chapek's comments come just days before Raya and The Last Dragon is set to hit Disney+ for a $29.99 premium while also airing in select theaters. However, this is far from the first time the studio has experimented with different release styles over the past year, Complex reported. In September, Disney released Mulan with a similar $29.99 fee. Meanwhile, Pixar's Soul, which came out in December, was free for all viewers with a regular subscription.
Disney is not alone in its at-home experimentation. This year, several studios have adopted a new distribution method, including Warner Bros. which has been releasing all of its 2021 titles on HBO Max the same day they hit theaters, with Paramount+ limiting their new offerings to a 45-day theatrical release before hitting the streaming service.
So, folks, it seems that our already-numbered days of eating $15 popcorn may have somehow grown even more numbered. If you'll excuse me, I'll be crying into my defunct MoviePass.