Disney+ to Send ‘Strange World’ Straight to Streaming, Ignoring France’s ‘Anti-Consumer’ Rules
In a very un-Mickey Mouse move, Disney is taking on the cultural arm of the French government. The company announced Tuesday that its upcoming animated film “Strange World” will launch on Disney+ in the country, bypassing a theatrical rollout entirely. That flies in the face of the nation’s long-standing windowing system, which is meant to ensure movies debut theatrically.
The French windowing system currently allows Netflix to distribute movies 15 months after they’ve completed their theatrical release and have had a run on local premium cable service Canal+; Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ have to wait 17 months. Or at least, that’s what’s supposed to happen.
It’s worth noting that this current windowing model was only introduced in January, and was actually an update to the previous schedule under which subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) companies had to wait 36 months before they could roll out movies. Of course, for its part, Disney never signed on to the change.
In a statement provided to Deadline, Disney said “‘Strange World’ will be available to all Disney+ subscribers in France, foregoing a French cinematic release. While we support French cinema — and have for decades — the new, cumbersome media chronology is anti-consumer, ignoring how behavior has evolved over the last several years and puts us at increased risk for piracy. We will continue to make decisions on a film-by-film basis and according to each market’s unique conditions.”
Disney is electing to release the film theatrically in other territories, with the movie scheduled to roll out on Thanksgiving in the United States. Directed by Don Hall (“Big Hero 6”) the story follows a family of adventurers as they travel through a fantastical world. It features the voice talents of Jake Gyllenhaal and Alan Tudyk.
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