Disney put the brakes on going back to the movies. Here’s why

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You’ll be waiting a bit longer on ‘Black Widow’ and ‘Cruella.’ For many months now, the much-anticipated Marvel movie Black Widow has sat boldly on the movie release calendar. Slated to come out in theaters on May 7, the film was a sign that Disney, the studio releasing the film, felt confident that the ebbing state of the pandemic meant that fans would swarm to see the film in-person, driving up box-office receipts. More than any other film set for release this year, Black Widow was a harbinger of better times ahead for the movie business, which has been severely crippled by COVID-19. Read Full Story

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Why Disney wants $30 for ‘Raya and the Last Dragon’ when ‘Soul’ was free

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It all makes perfect sense from a corporate perspective but it is confusing for consumers. Disney fans who spent the Christmas holiday streaming the Pixar feature Soul for their kids via Disney Plus may be a little confused this weekend. Disney Animation’s latest film, Raya and the Last Dragon , which is out March 5 and is about a Southeast Asian warrior princess on a quest to find a dragon that will unite her people, will also be on Disney Plus, but subscribers will have to pay an additional $30 to see it, at least right now. This summer, the film will be available to all Disney Plus subscribers for free. There’s one additional wrinkle: Raya is also being released in theaters. Well, some of them. Cinemark, the third-biggest movie theater chain in the United States is refusing to show the film, reportedly because Disney’s financial terms were too onerous …

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Here are all the studio movies hitting streaming platforms early because of the coronavirus

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Our confinement viewing options just opened up a bit. We’ll be updating this list as more titles are announced. Unprecedented times call for unprecedented actions. Practicing social distancing for many Americans means staying indoors and figuring out how to stay sane and entertained. And with cinemas closed, enjoying a new movie means streaming. Some movie studios have responded to the coronavirus crisis by making several recent movies available for streaming on platforms like Amazon and iTunes much more quickly than the usual three-to-six month post-theatrical release window. Some films are still in theaters. Even Disney put Frozen II on Disney Plus three months earlier than expected. Read Full Story

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Here’s why people are boycotting the live-action ‘Mulan’ on Disney Plus

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It’s not about no-Mushu or the thirty bucks. It’s about democracy. Disney’s live-action Mulan remake was scheduled to make its theatrical debut in March, yet just days after its premiere, the movie’s general release was abruptly halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The move disappointed fans—yet, to be honest, the Mulan remake has had a history of disappointment. Read Full Story

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Netflix’s rollout of its 2021 movies sends a message to rivals Disney, HBO

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The streaming giant’s slate of films this year includes more than 60 titles bursting with A-list talent. Last year, Netflix dropped a Twitter thread announcing its slate of 2020 movies. This year it’s upped the ante, perhaps sensing that in a world now populated by Disney+, Apple TV+, HBO Max, and others , the company needs to strut its stuff with a little more hoopla. Read Full Story

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Wayfarer Studios, the company behind Disney Plus’s ‘Clouds,’ makes social justice the star

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Beyond just creating content with a message, the upstart studio wants to upend the traditional model by building a company that puts equity at the fore. On October 16, Clouds will be released on Disney Plus. The inspirational film is based on the real-life story of Zach Sobiech , a teenager who was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer and who chose to spend his last months chasing his musical dreams. The first narrative film to be acquired by Disney’s fledgling streaming service, Clouds reflects the sensibility of the Disney brand: uplifting and heartfelt with a family-friendly PG-13 (for strong language) rating. Read Full Story

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49 Black movies to watch that will spark joy

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While films depicting tragedy or that have a capital-I “important” message about the Black experience are important, don’t forget about movies that show other sides of Black life. There’s a funny recurring moment in Keenan Ivory Wayans’s 1996 parody film, Don’t Be A Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood . It’s when Wayans—dressed up as a mailman—randomly pops up during moments of sobering dialogue and shouts, “MESSAGE!” Read Full Story

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Amazon Prime’s ‘Them’ is the latest in a horror renaissance reflecting the Black experience in America

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The subgenre is flourishing at the moment, thanks to Jordan Peele’s movies, ‘Lovecraft Country,’ ‘Bad Hair,’ and more. The idea that “the Black guy dies first” in horror movies is just a myth. It memorably does happen in films such as Jurassic Park , which is not a horror movie, and Scream 2 , which is a metatextual commentary on horror movies, but not nearly as often as legend suggests. Unfortunately, the reason for this misconception is that far too many horror movies have historically either avoided Black characters altogether or saddled them with patronizing, voice-of-reason dialogue before unceremoniously offing them midmovie. Read Full Story

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Netflix to Disney Plus: We’ve got Marvel movies too!

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Although Disney owns the most plum Marvel titles, Sony owns the rights to others, and those will live on Netflix after their theatrical run. As Hollywood studios have been feverishly carving out their spaces in the streaming world with the launch of services such as Disney Plus, HBO Max, and Peacock, Sony has remained remarkably quiet. Read Full Story

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HBO Max pulls ‘Gone with the Wind’ for its romanticized depiction of slavery

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As Black Lives Matter protests continue, HBO Max is reevaluating how the film should appear on its platform. HBO Max has temporarily removed Gone with the Wind from its library so that it can figure out how to proceed with a much-needed discussion about the movie’s problematic nature. The 1939 drama has long been concerning for its romanticization of the Confederacy, its positive view of slavery, and the fallout surrounding Hattie McDaniel, who won an Academy Award for Best Supporting actress (and became the first black person to win an acting Oscar), but couldn’t sit or celebrate with her costars at the ceremony because it was held at a segregated hotel. Read Full Story

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