On November 9, Marvel’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will release in French theatres, according to Disney. Given France’s outdated windowing system, which in Disney’s instance results in an initial 17-month lag between when a picture enters theatres and when it can head to Disney Plus in the market, there had been some doubt about whether the movie will be released in theatres. The media chronology was revised in January of this year, and negotiations about a future strategy have just taken place with business professionals.
“Following the French authorities’ acknowledgement that the Media Chronology needs to be modernised and setting a clear timeline for those discussions, The Walt Disney Company will move forward with a French cinematic release of Marvel Studios’ Black Panther: Wakanda Forever on 9 November,” Disney said in a statement shared with Deadline. As a result of the existing windowing system, the film will not be available to Disney+ users in France until Spring 2024.
“As we have stated before, we believe the chronology is anti-consumer and puts all studios at increased risk for piracy, which is why the majority of the stakeholders agree that it needs to be completely revised. We will remain actively engaged in the upcoming meetings and we will work closely with the CNC, the Ministry of Culture and the various other stakeholders in order to try and find a quick and equitable solution for all parties. In the meantime, we will continue to make future release decisions on a film-by-film basis.”
Disney took a strong position against the French windowing system this past summer, choosing to forgo French theatres and instead release the animated action adventure Strange World on Disney Plus. Disney was not a signatory to an agreement between TV channels, streamers, and the film industry, which reduced the time between theatrical releases and the market’s long-held 36-month SVOD waiting period in January of this year. Disney’s theatrical releases currently become available for purchase in France four months following their initial screening. After six months, they are subsequently made available to Canal Plus under a long-standing output agreement. Films go to Disney Plus at 17 months for five months. They discontinue the service after 22 months and switch to free-to-air channels for an exclusive 14 months before returning to Disney Plus after 36 months.