Disney Braces for a Bumpy Fall as Delta Variant Threatens Theatrical Plans

Streaming remains company’s No. 1 priority as Disney+ clears 116 million subscribers

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Disney’s big bet on theaters this summer—a high-profile release of the anticipated Black Widow, which was released both in theaters and on streaming last month—wasn’t quite a home run after a successful dual-release opening weekend was soon soured by tepid subsequent box-office figures and a high-profile lawsuit. And don’t expect to be wowed by any upcoming box-office figures for the media company, either: Disney is signaling that its upcoming theatrical-only releases, which were decided several months into a Covid-19 recovery, will almost certainly face headwinds due to the virus’s resurgence across the country.

In a call with investors Thursday, Disney CEO Bob Chapek admitted that some upcoming releases, including the Ryan Reynolds-led Free Guy on Aug.



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