So many other titles were published on Digital at the start, or moved completely to digitalDisney is still determined to have a theatrical release for The New Mutants – instead of releasing it on Disney + or (the majority owned by Disney) Hulu. What is the reason? Why can’t they do whatever they want after acquiring Fox? Well here’s the quick and dirty truth …
Josh Boone’s New Mutants – which unlike other films in the X-Men franchise had a very specific horror-movie vibe – received a release date in 2018 before. Fox has gone for many covers that would make it more intense and rated R to match the tone of 2017 It: Chapter One, which was a huge success. The film, which stars Anya Taylor-Joy and Maisie Williams (and stars the team face-to-face cartoon nemesis demon bear), then moved to the release dates February 22, 2019 and August 2, 2019 before landing permanently on April 3, 2020 – where was hit theaters in its original form, because the reruns may not even have happened.
Then the COVID-19 crisis took root and all the films of the last few months were shaken up. Will theaters be ready for The New Mutants in August? Who has to say? But we know, based on The Den of Geek Report, that 20th Century Fox had existing cable rights agreements for some of their titles at the time Disney acquired Fox, which prevents The New Mutants from being transferred to Disney-owned streaming platforms. This means that all Fox movies released in the next couple of years must premiere on the HBO Now / HBO Go streaming service.Also, according to Variety, Disney is contractually obligated to theatrically release all finished films, or films in post-production, that were on Fox’s schedule at the time of acquisition.
Apparently the only way for Disney to move the new mutants to streaming at this point is Collider, is for Josh Boone and the cast to “change their contracts and sign a new deal” and for Disney to also kind of renegotiate Fox’s HBO contract. Is it achievable? Probably. Is it worth it? Well, it’s up to Disney to decide. It’s a lot of work for a quirky X-movie that fans can’t wait to see, it’s also, fundamentally, the bookend of a dead, bubbly franchise.
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