'Free Guy', 'Shang-Chi' to get exclusive theatrical releases in move to revamp box office

ANI
Washington DC, USA Published: May 15, 2021, 10:41 AM(IST)

Free Guy Photograph:( Twitter )

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The Ryan Reynolds-starrer `Free Guy` will be hitting theatres on August 13, on the other hand, the Simu Liu-starrer `Shang-Chi` is set to arrive on big screens on September 3.

As the Hollywood box office is gearing up to recover, major production houses 20th Century`s `Free Guy` and Marvel Studios` `Shang-Chi and 'The Legend of the Ten Rings` are among the Disney event titles that will have exclusive theatrical releases, versus getting a hybrid release on Disney+.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, CEO Bob Chapek confirmed the news during an earnings call Thursday. The Ryan Reynolds-starrer `Free Guy` will be hitting theatres on August 13, on the other hand, the Simu Liu-starrer `Shang-Chi` is set to arrive on big screens on September 3.

Both will have a 45-day exclusive run in cinemas. Although the recovery of the global box office won`t be instantaneous, Chapek proclaimed that return to moviegoing is now within sight.

Per The Hollywood Reporter, plans for `Free Guy` and `Shangi-Chi` are in stark contrast to several upcoming Disney tentpoles planned for release between now and the end of July.

Other major releases including `Cruella` (May 28) and Marvel Studios `Black Widow` (July 9) are going day-and-date in theatres and on Disney+ Premier. The studio previously released `Mulan` under the Premier branding.

As unveiled by The Hollywood Reporter, before the pandemic struck -- resulting in yearlong theatre closures -- Disney enjoyed a historic run at the box office and was a favourite of theatre owners.

The COVID-19 crisis and the rise of streaming led many to wonder how committed to theatrical Disney will remain post-pandemic. A hybrid day-and-date release in 2022 could be more difficult to pull off if cinemas make a full recovery since circuits could refuse to play any title that doesn`t have an exclusive theatrical window. Nor is it clear how much a new film benefits Disney+ since viewership numbers for a particular title aren`t disclosed.

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