No souls in the cinema for Soul

Deborah Marshall

Following many postponements, Pixar’s ‘Soul’ will now debut on Disney+ rather than a traditional cinema release. Originally meant to arrive in cinemas back in June, the feature will be available on December 25th for all Disney+ subscribers for no additional cost.This is similar to how the studio dropped Mulan on Disney+ for “Premier Access”, which means that subscribers have to pay an added fee to view it.

This news comes after the announcement that Cineworld would temporarily close almost all their locations across the US, UK and Ireland. The reason they closed their doors was due to dwindling ticket sales.

Cinemagoers are reluctant to head out to the cinema due to the pandemic but also the fact that there are no major blockbuster releases for the rest of 2020 is a defining factor in their closure and poor box office numbers.

The biggest releases like ‘Dune’ or ‘No Time To Die’ have all been postponed to 2021, and it’s only a matter of time before the only last major 2020 release, ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ gets pushed back.

The release of ‘Soul’ onto Disney+ shows us that Disney wasn’t impressed with how ‘Mulan’ preformed with the video-on-demand release model. Viewership figures for the $200 million remake were poor, or else they would have repeated this release strategy with ‘Soul’.

The fact that Disney keeps releasing movies meant for theatrical release on their streaming platform, shows that they aren’t committed to the theatrical release model.

If studios follow in Disney’s footsteps it could very well put the other theatre chains that are still ‘open’ in jeopardy (cinemas are closed right now due to government restrictions).

Disney releasing their own films on their streaming service works in their favour because they get their products direct to the consumer and cut out the middleman of the cinema chains.

Theatres can earn up to 50 per cent of each ticket sale, which means it would work in studios favour to release their movies as they would earn 100 per cent of each sale.

The question remains will other studios follow suit to The Mouse and drop their films on streaming services?

Deborah Marshall

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