Disney, Warner Bros, and Universal each disclosed a bit about the future of their respective theatrical release plans. Disney will offer a mixed bag of “additional fee” online Disney+ releases and traditional movie theater releases, Warner Bros is going back to the old way with a shortened (90-day down to 45-day) exclusivity window, and Universal will shorten its window to 31 days for big films and 17 days for low-grossing films ($50 million and under domestically).
Why the stark differences between the strategies? Other than the fact that they all create high-budget, high-production-value content we call “movies,” their respective business models are starkly different. To oversimplify, Disney is “keymaster of the franchises” and a beloved consumer brand. Universal is part of the largest television distribution system in the U.S. Warner Bros is part of a phone company. ‘nuf said.
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