Disney Takes a Stand Against Recently Overhauled French Windowing System, Opting to Bypass Theater in Animated Action Adventure strange world in France and sending it directly to Disney Plus.
In a strongly worded statement provided to Deadline, a studio spokesperson said, “strange world will be available to all Disney+ subscribers in France, without a French cinema release. While we support French cinema – and have done so for decades – the cumbersome new media timeline is anti-consumer, ignoring how behavior has evolved in recent years and putting us at increased risk of piracy. We will continue to make decisions on a film-by-film basis and based on the unique conditions of each market. »
France updated its dark windows in January this year, shortening the gap between cinemas and the market’s long 36-month SVOD waiting period, but Disney was not among the signatories of a agreement between TV stations, streamers and the film industry (neither was Amazon).
As it stands, Disney theatrical releases in France are available for purchase four months after their debut. As part of a long-standing release agreement, they then become available for Canal Plus after six months. At 17 months, movies are heading to Disney Plus for five months. After 22 months, they leave the service and access the free channels for an exclusive period of 14 months before returning to Disney Plus after 36 months.
Believe it or not, this is the updated version of the rules that went into effect in February. At the time, Disney had issued the following reaction: “We believe that the media timeline is not consumer-friendly, nor does it establish a balanced or proportionate framework between the different actors of the French audiovisual ecosystem. This is all the more frustrating as we have increased our investments in the creation of original French content while supporting French cinema through our theatrical releases.
The main beneficiaries of the new measures unveiled in January were Netflix and Canal Plus. The former now has access to films 15 months after their theatrical release – although the streamer does not usually release films in theaters. At the time, he pledged to produce at least 10 local films a year, investing around 40 million euros ($45 million). Canal, for its part, had already struck a new deal with French film industry organizations in early December, with the pay-TV group announcing it would invest more than 600 million euros ($679 million) in the local and European cinema over the next three years. . The deal brought forward the window for Canal, allowing it to offer films six months after their theatrical release, as opposed to the previous eight-month deadline.
The timeline of French media has long been a hot topic. It was theoretically designed to protect the exposure and others in the chain. But given the shift in consumption, the prescribed windows for studios that support movie theaters are seen as incentivizing them to stream movies directly. It’s something that ends up shooting France in the foot as a portion of all cinema ticket sales – including films from Hollywood studios – are funneled into a fund that supports local production.
What Disney will do on strange world will be to bypass the system entirely, going straight to Disney Plus. We understand this will go hand-in-hand with the movie coming to the service in other markets.
strange world, whose trailer dropped on Monday (but not in France) is a theatrical release elsewhere, launching on Thanksgiving nationally. Directed by Don Hall (Big Hero 6, Raya and the Last Dragon) and co-director/screenwriter Qui Nguyen (Raya and the last dragon), the film travels to an uncharted and treacherous land where fantastical creatures await the legendary Clades, a family of explorers whose differences threaten to upend their last – and by far – most crucial mission. Roy Conli (Big Hero 6, tangled) product.