The streaming boom It has brought with it that the windows from when a movie hits theaters until it can be seen at home have been significantly shortened. I have no doubt that this has had a notable impact on the box office performance of many titles, but in the case of ‘Avatar: The Sense of Water’ it is not what has happened.
Now perhaps the biggest mystery around the film of James Cameron is its release date in Disney+, and I am quite clear that the most intelligent thing for the company would be to postpone it as long as possible. It is true that the sequel to ‘Avatar’ It is a show that can be liked more or less, but it is meticulously planned to be seen on the big screen, which means a unique opportunity to try a trend change.
Disney is interested in doing so (and has already taken steps in that direction).
It is true that disney was the highest grossing company of 2022, but if we look a little at their releases, we find several notorious failures What ‘Lightyear’, ‘Amsterdam’ either ‘Strange world’. Surely many have thought that why am I going to go to the movies to see them if in a month or a little more I will be able to see them on Disney+, and I cannot blame them either, because from the platform itself it is something that has been promoted, being especially clear with the launch consecutively on the platform of up to three Pixar movies.
Also, the unexpected return of Bob Iger as CEO of Disney makes it clear that these years of commanding Bob Chapek They have not been entirely satisfactory. To the greater number of failures we must add the clear downward trend in the box office of Marvel films – a good example is that ‘Black Panther’ had worldwide revenue of $1.346 billion and ‘Wakanda Forever’ It’s not even going to hit 850-, its best value yet, and multi-million dollar losses Caused by Disney+.
One of the first moves to counter this has been announce what will be done 20% fewer movies and series from 2023, in addition to a Disney + rate increase. Obviously, streaming is going to continue to be important, but everything suggests that it will cease to be the number 1 priority, and that is where ‘Avatar: The Sense of Water’ comes into play.
Until now, the usual thing was that Disney premieres in theaters took about two months to reach the platform. In some cases, that wait could be reduced to as little as a month – which was what happened with ‘Charm’ or ‘Strange World’-, while with the latest releases Marvel’s there has been a tendency to extend the deadlines.
In the case of ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ the wait did not reach two months -it was released in theaters on May 6 and on June 22 at Disney+-, for ‘Thor: Love & Thunder’ He left for just two months -from July 8 in theaters to September 8 in streaming- and with ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ the three months are already close -on November 11 it arrived in theaters and on the platform will be available on February 1-
For now, there are few cases to speak of a clear trend, but it does suggest that the most powerful titles are going to squeeze more in theaters, and ‘Avatar: The Sense of Water’ is the perfect opportunity to make it clear that the films are property from Disney, of course, they will end up exclusively on their platform, but they will also that it is not worth it for you to wait so long and not see them in theaters before.
Other possible motivations
To this we must add one last very specific factor in the case of ‘Avatar: The Sense of Water’: HBO Max I had an agreement with pre-existing Fox for Disney to take control of this company that forced Disney to share with HBO Max the streaming rights in the United States of Fox films released until the end of 2022.
said agreement it was nuanced in 2021, with Disney accepting that Fox films take less time to arrive on streaming and in return not all films produced by 20th Century Studios and Searchlight Pictures they would be affected. HBO Max would have access to around half of them, being ‘The menu’ the last to reach the platform in the United States.
It is not clear that ‘Avatar: The Sense of Water’ is part of the agreement -obviously HBO Max would be interested in it but also Disney would be interested in leaving it out in the renegotiation-, but in either of the two scenarios, Disney is compensated by taking longer for it to arrive streaming given the good resistance that the James Cameron film is showing in theaters. That she has been in theaters for almost a month and continues to be the highest grossing in a comfortable way.
To this we must add the fact that Cameron himself has spoken openly in favor of the rooms, noting that “‘We need this! We need to go to the theaters!’ Enough with the streaming!”. Obviously, Disney will also be interested in keeping the director happy three out of seven highest grossing movies of all time.
In short, Disney is interested in making the wait longer, with Marvel already gradually expanding the margin between theaters and streaming, ‘Avatar 2’ continues to perform very well at the box office, there is still doubt about that agreement with HBO Max in the United States and Cameron does not stop defending the cinemas with respect to the platforms. Everything indicates that it should take longer than usual to arrive.
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The mystery of the release date of ‘Avatar: The Sense of Water’ on Disney +: why the James Cameron film should take much longer to arrive on streaming