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Disney shuffles summer movie release dates

 Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow
Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow

Disney has released new information on its plans for upcoming movies like Disney’s Live-Action “Cruella” and Marvel Studios’ “Black Widow.” Both movies will now release in theaters and on the Disney+ streaming service for users with Premier Access on the same day.

This is good news for fans of both movies who may not feel comfortable enough to venture out to an indoor movie theater quite yet.

The news comes on the heels of movie theaters finally opening to limited capacity in New York City and Los Angeles, but the movie industry is still expecting crowds to be low for the foreseeable future.

Both “Cruella” and “Black Widow” are highly anticipated tent-pole films that Disney is counting on to help revive its box office mojo, so adding some day-and-date, streaming service revenue will help make up the difference.

“Cruella” is currently expected to debut in theaters on Friday, May 28, while “Black Widow” will debut on Friday, July 9.

Emma Stone in Cruella
Emma Stone in Cruella

“Today’s announcement reflects our focus on providing consumer choice and serving the evolving preferences of audiences,” said Kareem Daniel, Chairman, Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution. “By leveraging a flexible distribution strategy in a dynamic marketplace that is beginning to recover from the global pandemic, we will continue to employ the best options to deliver The Walt Disney Company’s unparalleled storytelling to fans and families around the world.”

Disney also announced that Pixar’s animated feature “Luca” will release exclusively on Disney+ on June 18th. A similar release worked well for Pixar’s “Soul” last year. In international markets where Disney+ is not yet available, the film will be released theatrically, with premiere dates to be announced.

PIxar's Luca
Pixar’s Luca

New release dates for these summer films

A number of titles on Walt Disney Studios’ upcoming slate of films have also shifted their release dates. If you’ve been waiting for any of these films, you may have to wait just a little bit longer:

  • “Free Guy” on 8/13/2021
  • “Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” on 9/3/2021
  • “The King’s Man” on 12/22/2021
  • “Deep Water” on 1/4/2022
  • “Death on the Nile” on 2/11/2022

Other highly anticipated films on Disney’s slate include:

  • “The Night House” from Searchlight Pictures on 7/16/2021
  • “Jungle Cruise” from Disney on 7/30/21
  • “The Last Duel” from 20th Century Pictures on 10/15/2021
  • “Ron’s Gone Wrong” from 20th Century Pictures on 10/22/2021
  • “Eternals” from Marvel Studios on 11/5/2021
  • “Encanto” from Disney Animation on 11/24/2021
  • “West Side Story” from 20th Century Pictures on 12/10/2021
  • “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” from Marvel Studios on 3/25/2022
  • “Thor: Love and Thunder” from Marvel Studios on 5/6/2022
  • “Black Panther 2” from Marvel Studios on 7/8/2022

We wouldn’t be surprised to see some additional date changes, especially with those last three Marvel movies.

Other movies we’re looking forward to in 2022 include the new Indiana Jones movie, the first Avatar sequel, and “Captain Marvel 2.”

Are there any movies on the above lists that are must-see for you? When to you anticipate feeling comfortable going back into a crowded movie theater again?