Wednesday 14 October 2020

The Walt Disney Company pivots to Disney+

The runaway success of Disney+ since launching last November, combined with an ongoing global pandemic forcing further cinema chain closures, sees The Walt Disney Company refocus on the direct-to-consumer (DTC) market to the understandable concern of cinema owners and their employees. The International Union of Cinemas (UNIC) released a scathing statement in response.

It reads: “The vast majority of cinemas across Europe and indeed many regions of the world are now open and able to offer a safe and enjoyable return for audiences.

“Cinema operators have invested massively in offering the safest possible experience to their audiences on the basis of a promising schedule of new film releases. Yet again, however, they find a distributor delivering another blow.”

The corporate restructuring means the vertically integrated multimedia and entertainment giant will be streamlined into content producers and distributors such as Hulu, Disney+ and ESPN+. Disney Parks, Experiences and Products will continue to operate under its existing structure. Mirroring moves by competitors Netflix, Warner Bros. and Apple TV+. The latter is an emergent streaming powerhouse and beneficiary of the Cupertino-based company's wealth worth trillions of dollars.

“We want to let the creatives be creatives, and let the business people be business people,” Disney CEO Bob Chapek said. “This is a further evolution of what we’ve already done. Given our success so far, we want to further accelerate our transition to a direct-to-consumer-first model.”

The House of Mouse has already released the live-action Mulan, at a premium for early access on Disney+, and plans to premiere Pixar's Soul, following a music teacher (Jamie Foxx) whose soul becomes separated from his body, on Disney+ this holiday.

Do you think this will accelerate the decline of mainstream cinema? Let me know in the comments below.


  1. I think the cinema chains need to look a bit more closer to home. The cinema 'experience' is not a good one anymore. It hasn't been for a long time. Hugely expensive snacks, seat kickers, incessant chatting through the movie, the light of mobile phones distracting from the film. The list is endless. I can't remember a cinema trip that hasn't caused me some form of annoyance. Sort that out, and I'd consider going back. Until then, I'm more than happy to put my feet up at home and fire up .

    1. As someone who lived in the cinema as a child, I rarely go these days due to the concerns you raise.


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