Disney's "Strange World" Box Office Upset After Theatrical Release in France is Missed

The Walt Disney Company and the Fédération Nationale des Cinémas Français (FNCF), the trade association of French film exhibition companies, are at odds today after the Disney Company announced that "Strange World" will not be released theatrically in France Today, the two companies are at odds over the fact that.

Why Disney is sending "Strange Worlds" straight to Disney+ - In January, France announced very strict new rules regarding window screenings. Under the new guidelines, Disney must deliver a film to video-on-demand four months after its theatrical release and to streaming 17 months later (this is an improvement from the previous window of 36 months). In addition, five months after a film is released on Disney+, the streaming distributor must temporarily remove the film and offer a 14-month period of exclusivity to the free-to-air operator. To avoid going through so many hoops, the studio plans to skip the theatrical release of Strange World altogether and release the film directly to the platform. [In 2020, when Disney sent Pixar's "Soul" directly to Disney+, the FNCF reacted negatively: "The cinema would like to share its immense frustration regarding this decision, which is destructive for the entire sector," and claimed that Disney's action was "totally unjustified economically . is completely unjustified economically."

What Disney is saying - In a statement, Disney explained: Strange Worlds will not be released in France and will be offered to all Disney+ subscribers in France. We are supporters of French cinema and have been for decades, but this new and cumbersome media timeline is anti-consumer, ignores the evolution of behavior over the last few years, and puts us all at risk of piracy. We will continue to make decisions on a film-by-film basis and according to the unique circumstances of each market"


How did the FNCF respond - When interviewed by Variety, an FNCF representative claimed: "As we understand it, Disney is frustrated by the fact that they have to withdraw titles from their service in order to give exclusive slots to free-to-air channels .

Going forward - Today, the FNCF invited Disney to a meeting organized by the French national film organization CNC to discuss ways to bring back Disney feature films to French cinemas. The group also urged the French government to work toward a timely resolution of the issue and avoid audiences and box office owners becoming victims of a dispute between the studios and the government.

What this means in the long run - the French window law does not apply only to Disney and could have far-reaching implications for other platforms HBO Max and Paramount+ are scheduled to launch in France in the near future, and the country's window law is very likely to force these platforms to follow Disney's lead.