In March, Disney announced that Disney-Pixar’s Luca would skip theaters and launch exclusively on Disney+. CEO Bob Chapek has now given the fullest explanation yet for the decision.
“[W]e’ve increased our investment in creative content to ensure that all channels of distribution have a full complement of offerings to sort of keep everybody happy, but nowhere is that more of the case than Disney+,” Chapek told JPMorgan’s tech, media, and communications conference, commenting on Luca. “And we want to make sure, given the importance of Disney+ to us in the marketplace and our shareholders, that we keep feeding that machine.”
As far as Chapek is concerned, theatrical exhibition in the U.S. is still a gamble. “[W]e’re seeing some hesitancy to return in a way that would look anything like normal back in 2019,” he said. “And as such during this sort of interim period, it’s really nice to be able to give consumers some flexibility.”