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Disney unveils summer film release schedule

Big live action hopes, Cruella and Black Widow to release day and date in cinemas and on Disney+; Pixar’s Luca to release exclusively on streaming platform.

Disney has today (24 March) confirmed its summer film release schedule, committing to what it describes as a “flexible distribution strategy”, utilising both cinema and its Disney+ streaming service.

Following a successful release for Raya and The Last Dragon, the highly anticipated live action film Cruella and Marvel Studios’ long-awaited Black Widow will launch simultaneously in cinemas and on Disney+ with Premier Access in most markets on Friday 28 May and Friday 9 July respectively.

Meanwhile, similar to the launch of Pixar’s Academy Award nominated Soul – which arrived on Disney+ over Christmas 2020 – Disney-Pixar’s Luca will stream directly into homes worldwide exclusively on Disney+ from Friday 18 June, as a special offering to kick off the summer season.

In international markets where Disney+ is not yet available, the film will be released theatrically, with premiere dates to be announced.

“Today’s announcement reflects our focus on providing consumer choice and serving the evolving preferences of audiences,” explained Kareem Daniel, chairman of Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution. “By leveraging a flexible distribution strategy in a dynamic marketplace that is beginning to recover from the global pandemic, we will continue to employ the best options to deliver The Walt Disney Company’s unparalleled storytelling to fans and families around the world.”

Meanwhile, Disney also offered a glimpse at its 2022 film schedule which currently includes Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on 25 March 2022; Thor: Love and Thunder on 6 May; Black Panther 2 on 8 July; Captain Marvel 2 on 11 November; and Avatar 2 on 16 December; as well as a currently untitled Indiana Jones movie on 29 July.

Avatar 3, 4 and 5 have been earmarked for 2024, 2026 and 2028 respectively, while two untitled Star Wars movies are in the schedule for 2025 and 2027.

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