Disney may bypass French cinemas unless release rules are relaxed


Movies may go straight to streaming service Disney+ unless government changes distribution regulations.

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Disney is to release 'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever' in French cinemas next month but has warned that future blockbusters may go straight to its streaming service, Disney+, unless France relaxes film distribution rules, reports The Guardian.

There had been speculation that the Hollywood studio might bypass cinemas with one of the most eagerly anticipated releases since before the coronavirus pandemic to put pressure on the French government to reform its highly restrictive rules.

After the release of the second Black Panther film on the big screen on 9 November, Disney will not be allowed to make it available to French subscribers to Disney+ until April 2024.

Subscribers will then have access to the film for only five months, after which it will not become available permanently on Disney+ until November 2025 – unless a deal is done with a French free-to-air broadcaster – three years after its premiere in cinemas.

“As we have stated before, we believe the chronology is anti-consumer and puts all studios at increased risk for piracy, which is why the majority of the stakeholders agree that it needs to be completely revised,” a spokesperson for Disney said.

Read more of this report from The Guardian.

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