Disney is moving several titles to Disney Plus, either for free or as part of its Premier Access window — but Black Widow isn’t one of them.
The film was rumored to have a simultaneous release, like WarnerMedia is doing with its 2021 movies on HBO Max, but Disney executives shut down those rumors today during a streaming event. Black Widow is still slated for May 7th, 2021 (a release date that came after multiple delays this year). The May 7th date pushed Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings to July 9th, 2021. Meanwhile, The Eternals moved to November 5th, 2021.
It’s important to note that Disney is making crucial decisions on which films the company’s executives think can pull off box office wins, and what can be moved. Black Widow is a title that can generate enough revenue at the box office and through other traditional windows (like iTunes and Amazon) to keep it as a theatrical title. Plus, this keeps contracts with talent the same, and exhibitors happy. Movies that Disney doesn’t think will perform as well (like Peter Pan & Wendy or the live-action Pinocchio) will move to Disney Plus.
Disney is making it clear that in order for films to get a full theatrical release, they have to be almost guaranteed blockbusters. The company certainly has a number of those titles left.