Reports on Deadline this morning say that Disney is now looking very closely at PVOD following the Warner Bros. announcement on Wonder Woman 1984 going to HBO Max. They stress no decision has been made, but there is a big internal conversation happening.
The report states it will, for now, focus on their upcoming family movies that were originally destined for theaters. So Craig Gillespie’s Cruella, the Peter Pan And Wendy adaption and Robert Zemeckis’ Pinocchio starring Tom Hanks.
The report does not clarify if these will drop directly onto the platform like Soul, or if they will be behind a paywall like Mulan.
Disney+ is exceeding all analyst expectations, despite large amounts of it’s alluring content being delayed by COVID-19. The Marvel slate is running approximately 1 year behind schedule. Despite this it hit nearly 74 million subscribers in October, and analysts have it on course to hit 125 million by 2025. That is a lot of eyes. You only need a fraction of them to pay a premium for a movie and you are rolling in $$$, as they discovered this summer with Mulan.
With theme parks closed or operating on reduced footfall, Disney stores closed, travel down globally and no theaters to ship their product to this is a strong pillar for Disney to have in their portfolio. They clearly intend to leverage it.
For now it appears that premiere league tentpole productions and Marvel or Lucasfilm content are off the table, but expect that to change as the market situation fails to improve.