In a recent post on 4chan picked up by Bounding Into Comics a self-proclaimed insider who works on the artwork for the upcoming Black Widow movie leaked some behind the scenes information along with unveiling Disney’s plan to gouge users to rent their movies from Disney Plus. According to the leaker, Disney’s desire is to keep its state of disarray and digital machinations a secret. More likely than not to avoid the blowback from theaters who would greatly object to competing directly with Disney’s digital platform.
“I am posting here so I don’t lose my job for breach of NDA. With the constant updates for the Coronavirus and the future up in the air for movies/media I’m here to spill the tea. I just had my contract with Disney for the Black Widow merchandise art postponed indefinitely. I have worked on both movie posters and cover art for three ad promos, PLUS DisneyPlus.
“So we were originally told that the movie was still being released on May 1st, however nine days ago we were told to also redo everything for November 6th, 2020. TODAY, we we told that it will depend on how the FANS -WTF- react to the news of pushbacks and how The Rise of Skywalker performs being released early. That’s right everyone, The Rise of Skywalker is a test for BLACK WIDOW being released on streaming, well on DisneyPlus.
“To add to this we were also commissioned, three days ago, before being put on hold ourselves, with commissioning a new poster for DisneyPlus for Black Widow. They wanted two versions, one with just the characters but the second with a price logo put in: $39.99 24 hours streaming. But before we could finish anything we were told to STOP everything. So now our company is waiting around for news on what to do.
“Will this release in theaters or on DisneyPlus? Well I can 100% tell you that they are planning for BOTH at this time. The fact they had us do a mock up for DisneyPlus art screams this is what will be the go ahead. Believe me or not, but the studios/theaters/everyone needs a heads up on what Disney is about to do. Everything is hush hush now and for this exact reason.
“Now this is gossip, but we also heard that two of the stars of the film are wanting this released now and are wanting to be the first big budget movie ever to release this way to make history. Which does seem like a smart idea, for them, everyone would always remember Black Widow for this. The DisneyPlus art is somewhere on the web Shhh(Reddit) but it’s been let out btw.
It is easy to sympathize with the leaker. That Disney would use the most hated Star Wars movie in existence to gauge market appetite is one of the most insanely idiotic things they could come up with. At no point in what I assume was a rambling incoherent meeting did anyone approach anything that could be considered a good idea.
That someone thought charging consumers forty dollars for a rental when the market rate is ten times less at four dollars is telling. To get an idea of how greedy that is, consider the following. The average ticket price in the United States as of 2018 is $9.11. From that Hollywood tends to on average take in 60% of that placing what they’d earn at $5.47. Effectively Disney is looking to make 7.3 times their average take on a single rental.
NBC Universal is catering a more “generous” offer at $19.99 for 48 hours. A mere 3.6 times their normal draw. This is an effectively good on paper strategy. If one person now equals the previous income potential of nearly 4 or 8 people that means Disney and NBC Universal only need to draw in a fraction of the population in order to generate the same revenue. If the same crowd was generated it would mean immense levels of profit for the company.
If this scheme sounds familiar it is because it is the same mentality behind Games as a Service. Earn more from fewer people. As a strategy, it works right up until it doesn’t and your company has to restructure after a year of underperforming titles and one outright failure.
A digital movie theater has long been a good idea, but with prices that high, it will not be long before we hear companies complaining about the seven seas. Whether it will fail or not is to be seen, but with the cultural shift coming after corona it is an issue we will see more often.
(Thanks for the tip ennis)