Disney+ has been in American homes since last fall, but the House of Mouse’s streaming service is only just now starting to expand to international territories.
It’s been one week since Disney+ arrived in Europe, turning The Mandalorian into quite the sensation among viewers in the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spin, Switzerland, Austria and Ireland. Now even more international markets are getting a taste of the live-action Star Wars series, with Disney+ launch in India, which was previously delayed from debuting on March 29, starting today.
Deadline has word on the India launch of Disney+ happening today. The debut of the streaming service was pushed back due to complications caused by the coronavirus pandemic, but the delay ended up not being extensive at all, which is good news for viewers in India who are anxious to start streaming.
In India, Disney’s streaming service will actually be called Disney+ Hotstar. That’s because Disney acquired Hotstar, India’s biggest streaming service, when they picked up Fox’s entertainment assets in their big merger. This will make India’s version of Disney+ significantly different from others.
Disney+ Hotstar will have three different subscription tiers for viewers to sign up for: Disney+ Hotstar VIP, Disney+ Hotstar Premium, and an ad-supported basic version of Disney+ Hotstar. Depending on your subscription tier, viewers will get access to not only Disney+ original programming and the movies of Marvel Studios, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation, but also Bollywood movies and even US shows from HBO, Fox and Showtime.The Mandalorian Launches Big on Disney+ in Europe
While Disney+ is just launching in India, it’s already comfortable across Europe after launching a week and a half ago. The service is now available in the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spin, Switzerland, Austria and Ireland, and The Mandalorian is already a huge hit, based on what TV research company Parrot Analytics calls “demand expressions.”
Deadline has word from Parrot Analytics that the premiere of the first two episodes of The Mandalorian resulted in 33 million demand expressions, which comes from looking at data across social media, video streaming, photo sharing, blogging and research platforms. And that was just on March 24 when Disney+ launched in those territories. That’s not bad considering they’ve had months to pirate the series following its debut in the United States.
However, it should be noted that some demand expressions are not as valuable in measuring the impact of a television series. That’s because social media engagements aren’t indicative of engagement with a series, as in actually watching the show in question. But even so, the fact that so many people are talking about the series...
Disney+ may benefit from further delays with the studio's theatrical releases as more movies may be going directly to the streaming service in the future. This, according to former Disney CEO and current Executive Chairman Bob Iger. It was recently revealed that Artemis Fowl will debut on Disney+ sometime this year, skipping a theatrical release. As Iger explains, that may not be the only title to make the move from theatrical to streaming, but don't expect to see it happen with the studio's upcoming tentpole releases.
Given what's going on in the world right now, most movie theaters are shut down entirely and virtually all major releases through June have been delayed. Some have wondered if Disney might put movies like Black Widow or Mulan on Disney+ instead. While that won't be happening, Bob Iger isn't ruling out other movies making the shift. Here's what Iger had to say about it in a recent interview.'There are some we've decided to put on Disney+. We already announced one, Artemis Fowl, that would have been released in theaters. Others we've simply delayed. In some cases we've moved things onto Disney+ faster than we would have. Frozen 2 was one of them, but Onward would be the biggest example. It was in theaters when this happened.' 'We moved to a pay-per-view period for a couple of weeks where people could buy it and own it. And then we ended up putting it on Disney+. In terms of movies going ahead after Artemis, there may be a few more that we end up putting directly onto Disney+, but for the most part a lot of the big tentpole Disney films, we'll simply wait for slots. In some cases we've announced new ones already, but later on in the calendar.'
There is a lot to unpack here. Black Widow and several other delayed movies were recently given new release dates as Disney reshuffled its 2020/2021 calendar. Black Widow and other big-budget tentpoles stand to make far more money in theaters, even with a relatively uncertain future ahead, than they could possibly generate via streaming. So putting movies like them directly on Disney+ doesn't make that much business sense.
In the meantime, taking riskier projects such as Artemis Fowl and giving Disney+ subscribers something flashy and exclusive is helpful. But what other movies might fit the bill for streaming debuts? The New Mutants perhaps? Whatever the case, as Bob Iger points out, the studio is content to wait until things return to normal. Disney, more than any other studio in Hollywood, is capable of raking in big dollars at the box office. So this truly isn't that surprising.
Other studios, on the other hand, may see value in doing a VOD/Digital release. Universal kicked that door wide open a couple of weeks back by putting recent releases such as The Invisible Man and The Hunt online. Trolls: World Tour, which was destined for theaters, will arrive digitally this month. Disney has not yet set a premiere date for Artemis Fowl, but it's...