Disney Diss? Rips Soul From Theaters To Be Disney+ Exclusive

Even box art is creative!

Disney’s love for theaters during the pandemic is questionable at best.

Pixar movies have historically been movie theater register grinders. They usually have good legs and make money week in and week out, grossing lots of box office $$$. The last Pixar movie, Onward, was unfortunately cut short due to theaters closing. Next scheduled is Soul. Was, rather.

Disney’s words are they believe in the theater experience, but their actions have been the opposite. First Artemis Fowl skipped theaters (Disney Pleases Movie Fans, Flexes in Front of National Theater Owners (NATO): Artemis Fowl will be Summer Disney+ Release — theaters weren’t open then, so that decision made sense), then Mulan’s unprecedented $30 premium + Disney+ experience — and don’t worry, we’ll have plenty to say about that serious customer diss in another post — and now Soul, set for launch in November is also being yanked.

Pixar’s “Soul” is skipping theaters and will debut exclusively on Disney Plus in time for Christmas. The animated family film will launch on the streaming service on Dec. 25. In international markets where Disney Plus isn’t available, “Soul” will be released theatrically on a yet-to-be determined date.

Pixar’s ‘Soul’ Skips Theaters for Disney Plus – Variety

We’re Disney+ subscribers and appreciate the exclusive content, thank you, but what about the theaters? Sure, Regal (temporarily) quit the fight again and closed, but AMC is doing everything they can to reopen their chain. If/when New York and Los Angeles fall into line, they will be nearly 100% reopened in America. The theaters need new movies and Disney sees Universal push up the Croods sequel to compete against Soul and they decide to go the Disney+ exclusive route — again.

Why didn’t they move up Soul sooner in theaters? Did it have to be in November? Like, say, this past weekend to compete against War with Grandpa? Or put it against Liam Neeson and Honest Thief next weekend? Let it run in whatever theaters are open to satisfy the theatrical window and then move to Disney+ around Christmas time?

Better yet, adopt the same reduced theatrical window that Universal has with AMC (see: Universal: The Croods and Freaky Will Have Shortened Theatrical Window) and go to Disney+ sooner? Best of both worlds, Disney.

No, instead, they just abort the theater experience altogether. I don’t get it. If they truly want to support movie theaters, then put out some freaking movies in theaters for us cinephiles to enjoy! Will Black Widow be next? Some are speculating yes, but due to the large budget that seems unlikely.

Then again … ?

Pixar movies aren’t exactly inexpensive to make either. The budget for Soul was $150 million. That budget size movie — unless you’re Netflix, anyway — pretty much needs to open in theaters. And yet it’s not. Mulan’s budget was $200 million and that didn’t open domestically in theaters either.

Some are speculating that Soul looks like a not very kid-friendly Pixar movie . Death is a dark subject, but that was dealt with in Onward. This takes it even further, however. Check out the official trailer:

The trailer looks good. Argh, why Disney, why not release this sooner in theaters?

Pretty obvious, but I’m bummed not being able to see Soul on the big screen in America. It’s not just me hopelessly devoted to the big screen, though, this doesn’t make financial sense. Disney is hemorrhaging cash everywhere right now, laying off employees and then throws this bone to the 60+ million Disney+ subscribers. Will they pick up a few more subscribers around Christmas time? Sure. Will it replace $$$ lost $$$ not having domestic theater revenue? Maybe. Maybe not.

It’s important to note for readers abroad, some international audiences will still be able to enjoy this in theaters, but we’re not hopping a plane and traveling somewhere to see this movie. There has been no international release date announced. So, the international audience is being denied an earlier theater release, too.

Your turn.

Are you bappy to see Soul skip theaters and go Disney+ exclusively? Or would you rather have seen it as a theatrical release first? Still not feeling safe enough to return to theaters (that’s OK to feel that way), so it’s moot? Or don’t really care about this film either way? Please weigh in below.

Does streaming availability hurt 4K physical disc sales? Disney isn’t making any more catalog physical discs

We haven’t pondered the question in the headline here yet, but it’s a good one to ask considering Disney’s recent rumored decision not to make 4K physical discs for their own catalog or the recently acquired 20th Century Fox.

In essence, my sources said, beyond new release theatrical titles, animated fare from Disney and Pixar, or Star Wars and Marvel-related projects, there were no plans at the studio going forward to release titles on physical 4K Ultra HD—future releases would be 4K Digital only.

Yes, it appears that Disney currently has no plans for more live-action catalog on physical 4K

To clarify, this means only new theatrical releases? What about VOD? What about Mulan, which is going to be at Disney+ and a $30 VOD rental? Will that ever make it to 4K physical disc? It’s not a theatrical title, so based on the quote the answer would seem to be no.

Why is Disney making this decision? Do they think that streaming hurts the 4K physical disc sales? Or is the reverse true? If enough people own all the movies they want in physical format, why would they subscribe to Disney+ streaming?

From our experience owning hundreds (almost 1,000 at one time) DVDs and some amount of Blu-ray, owning the physical discs makes zero difference on the streaming channels we subscribe to today. Sure, our collection has diminished, but it’s just not that convenient going for the discs vs. grabbing the remote and pulling up the title on streaming.

The quality mostly isn’t there for the most part in streaming. Unless it’s 4K streaming, of course.

Rather, I think this move has everything to do with Disney wanting to limit their vault offerings (see: Smaller Theaters Are Frustrated over Disney’s Movie ‘Vault’) and make it more appealing to subscribe — and stay subscribed — to Disney+. Then they can rotate in/out vault titles that they aren’t licensing to competitors. The longer the time period since the last physical disc was made available, the more incentive people might have to resubscribe or stay subscribed longer.


Disney lost “nearly $5 billion” in third quarter, decides to release Mulan to Disney+ for additional $29.99 on September 4

Hold the swords, King Arthur!

We’ve got a rare 5th post of the day for some exciting news coming down the pipeline concerning the other shoe besides Tenet in the “when will it be released” camp.

Talking Mulan (FIRST LOOK)

Mulan has a reported ~$200 million budget and, after hemorrhaging billions of dollars in its various business interests in Q3-2020, will be streaming for $29.99 and whatever theaters are open — and will show it — under lack of honoring the theatrical window on September 4.

The news of the release came as Disney released brutal quarterly results that showed the extent to which the company’s media empire was ravaged by the pandemic. The company reported that it had a net loss of nearly $5 billion in the third quarter this year.

‘Mulan’ is finally heading to Disney+… for $30 – CNN

To my understanding, unless something changes (entirely possible), Regal Cinemas will not be showing Mulan under these conditions. They are sticking by the “must respect the standard theatrical window” requirement. So, when and if Regal Cinemas open later this month, Mulan will not be part of the offering.

Curious, I surfed over to Regal Cinemas website to see if Mulan was showing as a “coming soon” movie? Nope.

AMC? Who knows, they recently cut a deal with Universal to reduce the window for them and Focus Features to 17 days including at least three weekends. I read mixed reviews on that decision, but I liked it (see: Good deal – AMC strikes historic deal with Universal to shrink theatrical window to 17 days). We are in the minority I think on that perspective.

Cinemark is the only other giant player and they seem to be following Regal’s plans regarding not showing movies that don’t respect the standard 90 day theatrical window.

Streaming to VOD dates haven’t been pushed around that much (at all?), so I think it’s fairly safe to assume Mulan will be released on September 4, as Disney announced. What sort of theaters are open and screen it? Whole other enchilada.

Will Disney+ subscribers pony up another $30 to see Mulan? If you’re a subscriber, will you? Unless our grandchildren really want to see this movie badly, like they wanted to see Trolls World Tour, I don’t think we’ll be breaking out the plastic for this one.

I think what has me pausing is just how darn fast Scoob went from VOD to available on HBO Max. I mean it seemed like only a few weeks later. Don’t know the specific amount of time, but it might have been less than the 17 days!

Why pay $30 for Mulan, if a few weeks later it appears on Disney+ for $0 extra? I think this is a problem if there is no reasonable VOD streaming window. The other part of this decision is will we be able to buy it for $30, or is that strictly rental only? Buying and owning the movie for $30 doesn’t sting as much as renting it, only to see an appearance for $0 extra shortly later.

We’re just speculating on when Mulan will move away from $30 price at Disney+, but it’s an intriguing move considering the movie’s large budget. Does Disney need to do this out of financial necessity or is it trying to throw customers a 30 dollar bone?

Your comments, as always are welcome. Will you be paying an extra $30 for Mulan on Disney+ or waiting out the inevitable release without the extra VOD fee?

13+ Artemis Fowl Reviews – Strong Disney+ Stench

Artemis Fowl ⭐️½

Click the title above to read my review. I think it hits the low, er, high points.

You’ve probably heard by now that this straight to Disney+ film with $125 million budget is a stinker. Get yourself over to competing streaming service Netflix and watch Spike Lee’s insightful Da 5 Bloods instead, but if you really want to read why this movie sucks, stay with me.

Yes, Branagh and/or folks at Disney were potentially gun-shy about making a movie about a pint-sized villain who maliciously kidnaps a fairy to get fairy gold and restore his family fortune. We can debate the wisdom of that possibility, and how the choice to make Artemis into a more conventional Y.A. fantasy hero (including regular clothes, a traditional physicality and a mostly healthy relationship with his father) negated the very thing that made the Artemis Fowl I.P. worthwhile.

‘Artemis Fowl’: Hollywood Keeps Making The Same Franchise-Killing Mistake

Ouch. First, the good reviewer warning.

… you’ve been warned, SPOILERS ahead …

The story is almost impossible to follow, the characters unlikable, the acting attrocious


But … the book series is good

I can’t vouch for the books because I haven’t read them, but have read plenty of people praising how great they are. And readers of this well-thought of series seem even more distressed about this movie adaptation.

Wouldn’t be the first, and sadly not last, time that good books are translated poorly.

Oh, that budget, that pesky, bloated budget

Whenever I see a terrible movie squandering a $100+ million budget, I think of all the amazing movies that have been done through history for a couple million or less dollars. Seriously, dozens of great films could be made for the same amount of money spent on Artemis Fowl (see: $100+ Million Movie Budgets Are Stupid)

Josh Gad is a bright spot, that should say enough

I’m not in the hate on Josh Gad actor club, but when he’s a positive as narrator of any film, that reinforces the narrative of those who do dislike his performances. Gad’s problem is he seems to be a one-dimensional actor with a really harsh, whiny voice. It grates on your nerves just hearing this guy talk. Here, however, his narration — somehow, some way — inexplicably works.

Remember Cats, yeah, then this?!?!, fire your agent Judi Dench

It’s official, I don’t want to see Judi Dench in another film any time soon as anything other than, well, Judi Dench.

Judi Dench is a great actress, but she’s been seduced by two foul scripts in the last year, both dressing her up as non-human characters. That abortive mess Cats and now, this. Judi, dear, time for a new agent if s/he recommended either of these garbage films.

Films like these will continue the unfair belief that streaming films can’t be as good as theatrical releases

Perhaps the worst part of this supports the notion that a movie that goes straight to streaming must by default be inferior. It’s the same diss on TV films being lesser quality than theatrical releases. There are plenty of awful theatrical releases and had there been no pandemic this film would have bombed very badly in theaters.

There have been some amazing, outstanding movies released directly on streaming within the last year. This isn’t one of them, unfortunately.

Reviews by Others

Enough of why I didn’t care for it, what do others think of Artemis Fowl?


  1. BecFlix Film Reviews: “…it’s story line is interesting enough for a quiet Sunday afternoon movie. It’s easy enough, and suitable for family viewing. It doesn’t make a huge impact, and probably isn’t a film that you would tell everyone to see. It’s easy going television, but doesn’t feel like something big hitting.”

Not Recommended

  1. Clay Bones (1/5): “For a film that seeps mythical potential, you’re left wondering where the magic is. A couple of decades in the film draft room, and an audacious budget which surpasses the $120mil mark, you find yourself scratching your head due to what little they have to show for it.”
  2. Drew’s Movie Reviews: “…was OK. I can’t convince myself to say this is a bad film but it’s close. Even with a non-existent story, mediocre visuals, and pacing issues abound, I must admit that I had at least a little bit of fun. Not enough to revisit it again but enough to call it mediocre at best.”
  3. Fast Film Reviews / Mark Hobin (1/5): “I couldn’t decipher it.  For the uninitiated (that would include me) Artemis Fowl is an impenetrable hodgepodge.”
  4. Film Planet (0/5): “…is one of the worst Disney live action films to have been released In some time (which is saying a lot given the live action remakes), being that it is an unfinished mess of a film with a cobbled together weak story, bad acting and characters that range from annoying, to bland to unlikable. There is nothing close to redeemable about this film.”
  5. Griff’s Picks: “Bland, incoherent and half-baked in just about every element, Artemis Fowl is ultimately a charmless, glossy and empty chore of weightless world-building.”
  6. Jeremy Greer: “They left the movie open for a sequel that it’s clearly not going to get, which just leaves you feeling even more unsatisfied by the end. I like what they were trying to do here, but they just didn’t make it work. If you want to follow this story, I’d suggest you just read the books.”
  7. Jordan Woodson’s Reviews: “Overall, this was a complete disaster of a movie and there is no way the books are anywhere near the quality of this or else they wouldn’t be as popular and beloved as they seem to be.”
  8. Keith & The movies (1.5/5): “Aside from the blandest storytelling and the most cookie-cutter characters, the dialogue is mind-numbing.”
  9. leebutler / Movie Meister Reviews (1/5): “This is pathetic even by Disney standards, and considering this was something I looked forward to after the trilogy of awful remakes from last year… I just can’t have nice things, can I?”
  10. Maz / The Nerds Uncanny (Grade: D): “Doing season instead of a 93-minute film would also have made all the information that’s thrown at us easier to digest. As is, “Artemis Fowl” is a chopped up mess that wastes an entertaining premise and an eccentric array of characters.”
  11. Moshfish Reviews: “a bad movie. It would have needed some real work to be great, but there is no reason it could not have been at least ‘good’. But as it stands, it just gets added to the pile alongside EragonPercy JacksonAvatar: The Last Airbender and Dragonball Evolution, among many more, in the garbage pile.”
  12. Rattan Mutti / thedisinsider.com: “A film that didn’t do justice to its source material, its cast, or the fans of the material. It all adds up to what is truly a disappointment.”
  13. thehipsterllama / A Fistful of Film: “…there’s the me now, three days after having seen it, tasked with the herculean effort of writing about the piece of shit, and then there’s the me who, once they get started talking about the movie, has it all come flooding back to them like Vietnam flashbacks.”
  14. The Movie Giant: “…is an awful experience of unbearable length.”
  15. The Review Roundtable Reviews (0.5/5): “is one of the worst films I’ve had to sit through in my life. At 95 minutes, it feels like it’s over 2 hours. The only redeeming factor to this movie is if you watch it with a couple of drinks in your system like I did. And watch it with friends. You’ll likely have a great time picking it apart like we did.”
  16. The Super Powered Fancast: “Ultimately, Artemis Fowl fails as a movie because it takes too much of its runtime trying to setup a series.”
  17. Thoughts On Current Film / Joel Alexander (Grade: F): “This movie alone made me question the seven dollars I give Disney Plus every month; why support a company that releases constant drivel like this? Artemis Fowl is the true product of 2020, a soulless mess that gets progressively worse the longer it lasts.”
  18. Wizard Dojo: “Here’s a movie telling us that there’s a whole other world beneath the Earth, but almost all the action takes place at one building. Artemis Fowl kind of reminds me of Glass in that regard, a movie begging to stretch its legs but is shackled to one confined space.”

Linked above and wondering what would be the cool thing to do next? Commenting once in awhile is always good (I like reader and other blogger interaction). If you have the trackback/pingback come to your site then just approve it because after people read your review then they can come here and follow links and read someone else’s review. What comes around goes around and sharing is the ultimate “thank you!” on the internet.

Did I miss your review? Use the comments to tell me about your movie-related/review blog and I’ll follow. I like following movie-related blogs and pull quoting from my reading list as well as other new blogs shared, liked and discovered.

Happy movie watching!

WHAT TO WATCH THIS WEEKEND #25 of 2020 Movie and TV Streaming Picks – Netflix, Amazon, Roku, Tubi, HBO Max, Shudder, DC Universe

Available on HBO Max starting June 19

Weekend #25 of 53 (6/19 – 6/21/2020) for 2020 Picks By Streaming Service

  • HBO Max – a top five 2019 movie for us: Ford v Ferrari ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (see list: 2019 Favorite Movies) and reboot of Perry Mason kicks off with the pilot TV episode.
  • Netflix offers original movies on Friday 6/19: Lost Bullet and Feel The Beat, plus a wacky looking competitive game show called Floor Is Lava.
  • Amazon – already streaming 7500 (was supposed to debut on June 19, but available at least one day early). This airplane in terrorist stress thriller looks promising.
  • Tubi (FREE) has a bunch of Rudy Ray Moore movies, a comedy special and documentary available to binge-watch
  • Shudder – the season finale of Joe Bob Briggs The Last Drive-In double-feature on Friday night
  • DC Universe – Superman: Red Son available on streaming service for the first time

*Title with asterisk – newly released
Title is linked and has star rating – already watched, rated and reviewed
Title bolded – on our schedule to watch/rewatch, rate and review (or in progress)

NOTE: If you’re coming to these posts weeks or months later, some and/or all of the picks listed below may no longer be on the streaming services indicated. Anything marked as “Original” typically doesn’t expire on the streaming service.


  1. *Lost Bullet (2020)
  2. *Feel The Beat (2020)
  3. Woodshock (2017)
  4. Dolemite Is My Name ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


  1. *Floor Is Lava – Season 1
    Competitive Game Show — Original
  2. *Rhyme Time Town (Dreamworks) – Season 1
    Animation, Children’s


  1. *7500
  2. Crawl (2019)

ROKU Movies (FREE)

  1. Purple Rain
  2. Dirty Harry
  3. Gremlins

TUBI Movies (FREE)

  1. Dolemite ⭐️⭐️½ 
  2. The Human Tornado
  3. Shaolin Dolemite
  4. Petey Wheatstraw
  5. Disco Godfather

Tubi is all in on hard-working, dedicated comic Rudy Ray Moore’s low budget 70s movies.

Known for being so bad they are good, this is your chance to binge-watch Rudy’s signature movies on one service, also includes a documentary (The Legend of Dolemite: Bigger & Badder) and a live comedy performance (Live at the Wetlands). If you have a subscription to Netflix, catch Eddie Murphy’s take on Dolemite.

HBO Max Movies

  1. Ford v Ferrari (June 20) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


  1. *Perry Mason – Season 1 – Episode 1: “Chapter One” (June 21)
    reboot of classic series – Original
  2. *Karma – Season 1 –
    Children’s reality TV game show – Original
  3. South Park – Seasons 1-23 (June 24)

Robert ‘Iron Man’ Downey Jr. is executive producer of the reboot of Earl Stanley Gardner’s Perry Mason. Downey was originally hired to star as Perry Mason, but due to scheduling conflicts had to bow out. Matthew Rhys was cast to replace Downey. Also, all 23 seasons of South Park will be available on Wednesday, June 24.


  1. *The Last Drive-in with Joe Bob Briggs
    Season 2 Episode 9 – Season Finale!
    Horror films double-feature with host commentary
    Friday June 19, 2020 @ 6pm PST (GMT-8), 9pm EST (GMT-5)
    Discord chat via reddit/shudder group
  2. Bone Box
  3. Mausoleum

DC Universe Movies

  1. Superman: Red Son

DC Universe TV

  1. *Harley Quinn TV Series – Season 2, Episode 12: “Lovers’ Quarrel”
  2. *Stargirl – Season 1, Episode 6: “The Justice Society”

WHAT TO WATCH THIS WEEKEND #24 of 2020 Movie and TV Streaming Picks – Netflix, Disney+, Amazon, Roku, Tubi, Shudder, DC Universe

Weekend #24 of 53 (6/12 – 6/14/2020) for 2020 Picks By Streaming Service

Disney+ subscribers can watch Artemis Fowl [FIRST LOOK] available on Friday June 12. HBO Max sees the final 4 episodes of Love Life starring Anna Kendrick. For those partial to zombies, comes Reality Z Season 1 to binge all 10 episodes on Netflix, also The Woods first season. Amazon Prime Video has the most excellent Knives Out this weekend.

*Title with asterisk – newly released
Title is linked and has star rating – already watched, rated and reviewed
Title bolded – on our schedule to watch/rewatch, rate and review (or in progress)

NOTE: If you’re coming to these posts weeks or months later, some and/or all of the picks listed below may no longer be on the streaming services indicated. Anything marked as “Original” typically doesn’t expire on the streaming service.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is netflix_logo.jpg


  1. *Da 5 Bloods


  1. *Reality Z [FIRST LOOK] – Season 1 (10 episodes)
    Zombies – Original
  2. *The Woods – Season 1
    Thriller – Original
  3. *Lennox Hill – Season 1 (8 episodes)
    Documentary, Medical – Original
  4. *F is for Family – Season 4
    Adult, Animated
  5. *KIPO And The Age Of Wonderbeasts – Season 2
Based on the novel by Harlen Coben, The Woods TV series season 1 available Friday June 12, 2020 on Netflix

Disney+ Movies

  1. *Artemis Fowl (June 12)

The movie originally planned to be released in theaters and headed straight to Disney+ instead.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is amazonprime_logo.jpg


  1. Knives Out (June 12) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  2. Heaven Can Wait ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  3. Child’s Play (2019)
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is roku_logo.jpg

ROKU Movies (FREE)

  1. The Waterboy
  2. Fruitvale Station
  3. Trouble With The Curve

TUBI Movies (FREE)

  1. Ender’s Game
  2. Look Who’s Talking
  3. RiffTrax Live: Sharkanado

HBO Max Movies

  1. The Good Liar (June 13) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  2. Fantastic Planet
  3. Water For Elephants
  4. The Wizard of Oz


  1. *Love Life – Season 1 – Episodes 7-10
    Anna Kendrick, romance comedy – Original

The final four episodes of the first season of Love Life. HBO announced they have renewed Love Life for a second season, making it the first new series on HBO Max to get a second season greenlight (source: Deadline).


  1. *The Last Drive-in with Joe Bob Briggs
    Season 2 Episode 8
    Horror films double-feature with host commentary
    Friday June 12, 2020 @ 6pm PST (GMT-8), 9pm EST (GMT-5)
    Discord chat via reddit/shudder group
  2. Warning: Do Not Play
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is dcuniverse_logo.jpg

DC Universe TV

  1. *Harley Quinn TV Series – Season 2, Episode 11: “A Fight Worth Fighting For”
  2. *Stargirl – Season 1, Episode 5: “Hourman and Doctor Mid-Nite”

FIRST LOOK: Artemis Fowl

Artemis Fowl is an adaptation from a series of books by Eion Colfer and heading from closed theaters to Disney+ subscribers, yes, it’s skipping VOD entirely.

How faithful this remains to the books will be up to others to review, as I’m not planning on reading any of the books before watching.

The Lovebirds (Netflix) and My Spy (Amazon Prime Video) are taking the same path straight to streaming.

Author Eoin Colfer has come a long way since his primary school teaching days when in 1991, his first Artemis Fowl book was published and he went on to write seven more.

Artemis Fowl Author Eoin Colfer Thanks Wife for Books’ Success

The trailer:

There are some very polished special effects in the trailer. It looks and is an expensive movie with a budget of $125 million. This isn’t the most expensive straight to streaming channel movies, as I think that award goes to The Irishman, but props to Disney for giving this to subscribers. Whether or not this movie is good we’ll soon find out. I’m like 3/10 in interest on seeing this based on the trailer. You?

Artemis Fowl will be available for streaming on Disney+ on June 12, 2020.

Disney+ or Hulu might be receiving more movies than Artemis Fowl skipping a theater release

Disney’s Bob Iger (didn’t he just step down as CEO?) is doubling down on Artemis Fowl going straight to Disney+.

Yes, the plot thickens

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

Iger teases that there might be more movies doing the same thing.

“In terms of movies going ahead after Artemis, there may be a few more that we end up putting directly onto Disney+, but for the most part a lot of the big tentpole Disney films, we’ll simply wait for slots. In some cases, we’ve announced new ones already, but later on in the calendar,” Iger said in an interview with the publication.

Disney’s Bob Iger Says ‘A Few More’ Movies Might Be Going Directly To Disney+ – Deadline

The article mentions another possible title: The New Mutants. No future date is set, but that would be a good title to take directly to VOD and/or streaming.

An important point to remember is the captive, eager for new movies audience right now. If a studio can’t release it in the studios and the budget isn’t too large, why not release it as a reason to join your streaming service or go with a low price VOD ($19.99 is pushing it, see: Yes, Some Are Paying $20 to Rent New Movies – But Is This The Right Price Point?)?

Something else I haven’t mentioned as much is we don’t need weekends with 5 or more new movies to watch. The wide release films are going to jam up later this year and it makes more sense to compete against a couple of other wide release films vs. four or more.

Personally, I’m open to as many new movies as studios want to release in theaters.

Statistically, I’m an exception and aberration as a moviegoer. The average moviegoer sees like 3-4 movies a year, I usually see 3-4 per week (when theaters are open).

Studios should want to find the right wide release slot that isn’t crowded. I’d think when there are only 1-2 other wide releases would be ideal and those weeks will be more rare the longer the theaters remain closed. I don’t think even active movie theater fans like me want to see 5+ wide releases every week in the Fall and Winter when theaters reopen. It will lead to people missing out on good movies because there are too many new ones to see and for either budget, time or both, average and even slightly above average moviegoers will miss watching them in theaters.

This doesn’t help the experience when movies bomb at the box office. Sure, some movies bomb and go on to enjoy cult success in aftermarkets and streaming. There have been some great movies that were poorly timed as theatrical releases.

Some of that poor timing could be happening right now.

At this very unique moment in time movies have a golden opportunity to reach movie-hungry audiences at home, ready and willing to watch new movies. So give us more. They don’t have to be the big budget tentpoles, but there are plenty of other movies that should be released every week.

Netflix, Amazon, heck even Quibi is releasing new content during these times. I think Bob Iger — and some at Universal — understand that studios can’t put all their eggs in the theatrical basket. That studios don’t have to choose one over the other — they can do both!

Trolls World Tour skipped the theaters and is going straight to VOD this Friday, April 10. Support it, if you have any interest in the film. The first Trolls was a lot of fun and this one looks like it’s expanding that fun to other musical genres. We’re going to be so there.

Studios just waiting around for whatever future exists with every movie they have doesn’t make good business sense. The floodgates could be about to open.

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?

Hulu is the Adult/Mature Disney+, Just ask Hillary Duff

Hilary Duff has grown up – she wants her show
to grow up with her …

There is some controversy around Lizzy McGuire TV series reboot slated to be on Disney+ and Hilary Duff is asking Disney to move it to Hulu.

For those who don’t know, Hulu is already the recognized, much more adult-oriented wing of Disney.

Duff and Lizzie McGuire creator (and original showrunner for the reboot) Terri Minsky were hoping to create a more mature show reflecting the character’s adult life. They completed a couple episodes, and then Disney decided to change course — to the point that Minsky was removed from the new series.

Hilary Duff asks Disney to move Lizzie McGuire reboot to Hulu instead of Disney+ – The Verge

I’ve never watched even one second of Lizzy McGuire TV show or the 2003 movie. It sounds from what I know to be sort of along the lines of Hannah Montana type teen to younger girl audience, yes/no? Clearly not my demographic. Somebody who knows more – or at least cares to no more — can educate me in the comments.

The point I’m making in this post — as is Hilary Duff — is about the larger issue of what to do with content that’s not best suited to Disney+ and is that even a problem? It shouldn’t be.

Hulu has much more I’m interested in watching than Disney+. That’s not saying Disney+ isn’t good and doesn’t have value. There are some amazing films on Disney+ and at least one TV show that I like available there.

When Disney+ launched my wife bought a year long subscription. It was a gift for our grandchildren, mainly, although I used it to watch, rate and review The Mandalorian (highly recommended, btw), the older Star Wars films in prep for Rise of Skywalker and some scattered other content. Basically, I’ve not used the service much since.

That doesn’t mean I don’t think Disney+ is a great deal for young children especially. Think about having to buy a bunch of physical copies and kids. It just doesn’t work as well with kid-friendly tablets and other portable devices. A streaming channel with primarily or only PG and below content is perfectly fine to me as a parent and grandparent. If that’s how Disney+ wants to roll, I’m game with it.

But what about more mature, adult content and themes? A TV show like DC Universe’s Harley Quinn would not be geared to Disney+, i get it. That’s cool. So where can they put these shows? The House of Mouse can’t only have PG and G-rated content with their properties, can they?

Enter Hulu. So, if you want to watch more edgy, more adult-oriented shows and movies, just subscribe there. I’m not sure how this works for Marvel content going forward, but maybe the rating will dictate where it goes (PG and below on Disney+, TV-MA to Hulu?).

AT&T with Warner Bros. Should Capitalize on this Marketing Opportunity

With HBO Max coming in May, clearly AT&T which owns Warner Bros. should market as a full meal deal. For $14.99/month, you get it all: adult, family, kids. They should have very good content filters in place so they can ensure parents that their young children won’t be easily exposed to more adult content.

Will this actually happen? That’s the big question. Warner Bros. seems to step on themselves more than help sometimes and AT&T, despite being massive, doesn’t always move in the sensible direction.