On the heels of a successful opening weekend for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, the Walt Disney Company committed its remaining 2021 film releases to exclusive theatrical releases. In addition to this news, Disney also revealed an ambitious slate of mostly untitled films which fans can expect from their favorite Disney IPs all the way into 2024.
Marvel fans will be excited to learn that Disney has marked the calendar for four new projects scheduled for 2024, on top of the previously announced slates of four films in 2022 and five in 2023. While announcements for new Marvel movies and a release date for The Little Mermaid live-action were expected, the upcoming film slate had a few surprises.
Guillermo del Toro‘s R-rated psychological thriller Nightmare Alley got pushed back two weeks to December 17th, pitting it against Spider-Man: No Way Home‘s opening weekend. The film stars Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, Willem Dafoe, Toni Collette, Rooney Mara, Richard Jenkins, and Ron Perlman.
Arguably the biggest news of the bunch is that we finally have a release date for the Bob’s Burgers movie. The Twitter account for the beloved animated series shared a first look at the film’s poster after the announcement was made. After many delays, the film is set to premiere in “Flippin’ Theaters” on May 27th, 2022, capturing the Memorial Day Weekend audiences looking for a few laughs.
Looking ahead to 2024, Disney set the dates for a pair of untitled Pixar Animation films on March 1st and June 14th, with an untitled live-action Disney film scheduled for March 22nd. Very little is known about these projects. Historically, Disney has premiered most of their Disney princess live-action adaptations for March, with Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and Mulan (prior to the pandemic-related push to September 2020). The Aladdin adaptation broke that pattern with its May premiere date. Whatever these upcoming films may be, one thing is certain: Disney is telegraphing a commitment to the theatrical experience.
Disney‘s confidence in exclusive theatrical releases was most likely bolstered by the lackluster performance of Black Widow, Cruella, and Jungle Cruise which were made available on Disney+ for an additional fee. Despite consumer hesitancy with the return to the in-person theater experience, Fall Guy and Shang-Chi both performed well at the box office with theatrical-only runs. With major films like Eternals and The King’s Man right around the corner, Disney isn’t taking any chances with their box office numbers.