Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Here’s why Black Widow is not available on Disney+ Hotstar in India despite its worldwide release on 9th July

Scarlett Johansson’s starred in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) film which releases today and the name of the film is Black Widow. It releases today on Friday 9th July 2021 in North America and several other territories. Disney will also release the film on its streaming platform service Disney+ as well as under its Premiere Access ( a premiere video on demand service) section will be given on the same date for $30.

The film was also supposed to release in Indian theatres at the same time as it releases in the rest of the world but due to the devastating second wave of Covid-19 and its restrictions which have been carried out all over India the release could not take place. So, we the Indians have to wait a bit longer maybe months in order to witness Natasha Romanoff in action as she faces the demons of her past.

However, why the House of Mouse does not make it available for Disney+ users in India? There lies a question, it is still now not clear that why it has happened so? While it is expected that it will be released internationally on 8th October on Disney+.

Disney has firstly chosen the Premiere Access model for Mulan last year, which was a live-action remake of the 1998 animated movie of the same name. Mulan was not released in theatres at all due to the Covid-19 pandemic situation. The studio put it down to Disney+ only. After this Kelly Marie Tran-led Raya and the Last Dragon has followed and released as a hybrid release- both in cinema halls and on streaming. After seeing its success story, it was revealed that Cruella, Black Widow, and Jungle Cruise, all would follow the same model. But so far we know that these movies are the only Premiere Access releases.

These decisions have been driven by a huge move on part of a rival. Warner Bros has made announcements that it’s every 2021 movie would release in theatres and as well as on HBO Max that creates waves in the world of entertainment late last year, with reactions ranging from disbelief and excitement. The filmmaker Christopher Nolan, a longtime collaborator disagreed with the decision, while others said that it was the need of the hour.

All the Premiere Access movies are made available for free by Disney after a few months. And that is the day Disney+ Hotstar releases them in India before that it was not available in India. For example, Mulan became free of cost on 4th December, and the movie was released in India on Disney+ Hotstar.

So, Black Widow is not releasing in India on 9th July, we Indians have to wait for a couple more months to watch it in our homes as there is no feature available like Premiere Access in India’s version of Disney+ Hotstar. We do not know the reason why Disney has not extended Premiere Access to India. Perhaps the thought behind it is users will not agree to pay a premium for a movie they are going to watch in their homes. But Zack Snyder’s Justice League was watched by over 100,000 people on BookMyShow Stream. This is not including other platforms like Hungama Play. And Like ZSJL, Black Widow is a huge IP, and likely would have sold well.

Disney and Marvel Studio’s other reason may also be that they want more audiences to watch it on the big screen, preferably IMAX. Like other MCU movies, Black Widow has made a trailer that is to be enjoyed in theatres. The promos only drive home the point. The movie’s trailer boast complex CGI visuals and action scenes that are best witnessed in a theatre, and even Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige and others have made it clear that the film, unlike Disney+ MCU shows like WandaVision and Loki, was made while keeping the big screen and accompanying sound effects in mind.

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