The COVID-19 pandemic has led studios to develop unique release plans for their upcoming films. Warner Bros. has their HBO Max deal. For Disney, the plan has been to release select films in theaters and concurrently on its streaming platform Disney+ (some, like Raya, for an additional fee).
A profitable solution for Disney, sure. But Cinemark apparently isn’t so happy with the studio’s plan.
According to Deadline, contract differences for exhibitors may be the reason. While WB lowered their rental terms on films like Wonder Woman 1984 and Judas and the Black Messiah to keep theaters on their side, Disney apparently took more of a “take it or leave it” approach. And it looks like Cinemark chose “leave it.”
In a statement to Deadline, a Cinemark representative said, “In the current operating environment, we are making near-term booking decisions on a discrete, film-by-film basis, focusing on the long-term benefit of exhibitors, studios and moviegoers. While we are having conversations with The Walt Disney Company, we have not yet reached agreeable licensing terms for Raya and the Last Dragon. As we continue to work with our studio partners, we remain optimistic that we will reach mutually beneficial terms that will provide moviegoers the opportunity to see the exciting film lineup in our theatres.”
The statement makes it seem like negotiations may be ongoing. And it’s true that often times these negotiations run down to the wire. But for now, it looks like Cinemark isn’t willing to bend to Disney’s rules at this time.
So if Cinemark is your go-to theater, you better start looking for a new movie spot if you want to see Raya and the Last Dragon. (Unless you’d rather shell out the $29.99 to stream it on Disney+ instead.)