Why is “Doctor Strange” live and “Spider-Man: No Way Home” not

Spider-Man: No way home hit theaters in December, laying the foundations for a storyline Admire fans to move on Doctor Strange in the multiverse of madness in May. But while the latest Spider-Man movie overtook Strange in theaters by almost five months, Doctor Strange will be broadcast on Disney Plus for a few weeks before No Way Home is available to stream anywhere.

To add to the confusion Spider-Man: No way home will not be appearing anytime soon on Disney Plus, despite actor Tom Holland’s Spider-Man appearing routinely in Disney’s Marvel movies, and Benedict Cumberbatch portrayed Strange in both films.

When and where can Doctor Strange be streamed?

Doctor Strange in the multiverse of madness hit Disney Plus early on Wednesday. It’s available for streaming at no extra cost to all subscribers.

That’s about 47 days after its wide release in theaters, much faster than the last two Marvel movies made it to Disney Plus. Shang-Chi and the legend of the ten rings was in theaters for 70 days prior to being broadcast on Disney Plus; for Eternalsit was 68 days.

If Doctor Strange also stuck to that timeline, it would be available on Disney Plus around mid-July. But with this movie, Disney is getting closer to the norms of other big studios, which heavily gravitate towards the cinema exclusivity window after about 45 days.

When and where will Spider-Man: No Way Home be broadcast?

No Way Home will be broadcast on Starz from July 15th.

Even though Spider-Man is part of the so-called Marvel Cinematic Universe, which is largely a juggernaut created by Disney, Sony is actually the studio behind No Way Home. And Sony takes a completely different approach to streaming its movies.

Sony has an agreement to get 2021 movies first to the Starz cable network, where they can be watched on traditional channels as well as in the streaming app. So Starz will start broadcasting No Way Home on July 15th.

Why don’t these streaming release dates make sense?

Both videos may be part of the MCU, but the streaming strategies for these videos couldn’t be more different.

The main reason for the differences is that the Marvel characters in the movie were split between two different studios, Disney and Sony’s Marvel Studios. Spider-Man as a character hails from Marvel, but Disney’s Marvel has made a complicated license-sharing agreement with Sony for Spider-Man comic book characters.

All standalone Spider-Man movies are made and distributed by Sony. Marvel will do the rest.

Each company can arrange to “borrow” characters (and the actors who play them) from another to be part of their own MCU movies. That’s why Holland appears regularly in Disney’s Avengers movies, and Cumberbatch played Doctor Strange not only in Sony’s No Way Home, but also in Disney’s Multiverse of Madness. Which is why Power stream some movies on Disney Plus with Holland as Spider-Man – but you jargon stream any of the Spider-Man specific movies.

Moreover, Disney and Sony have radically different streaming strategies.

Disney has its own streaming service; Sony doesn’t. Disney was flexible during the pandemic, constantly changing when (and if) movies hit theaters and how long they stayed there before streaming. Sony and Starz, on the other hand, were included in a deal made years ago before the pandemic accelerated with how quickly new movies hit the streaming service.

Disney launched Disney Plus just about four months before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Almost immediately, Disney reimagined the service as a selling point to release new big movies. Some Disney movies – usually mid-budget live action movies and Pixar movies like Luca and Soul – skipped theaters entirely and were available for streaming Disney Plus no additional cost. For the biggest movies, Disney Plus launched its Premier Access model to sell streaming access to new movies on the big screen for an additional $ 30 fee.

Then, as society reopened last year, Disney reintroduced cinematic exclusivity. But Disney’s “windows” – the period after the movie was released in theaters but before the broadcast began – were all over the map. Encanto spent a month in theaters before streaming. Down Admire‘s Eternalsthat was two. West Side Story – a rework of Steven Spielberg’s musical – hit Disney Plus about three months after it only appeared in theaters.

Now that Doctor Strange hits Disney Plus after 47 days, Disney is moving towards a new industry standard of making movies for about a month and a half to be motion picture exclusive.

But Sony’s approach to streaming couldn’t have been more different.

Unlike Disney, Sony doesn’t run its own streaming service. So Sony’s strategy is to license its videos to other people so that they can watch them on TV and stream them, which in turn allows them to collect revenue from these transactions.

Sony and Starz made a deal in 2017, when it was standard to show movies only in theaters for about 75 to 90 days and keep them from streaming for six to nine months after they hit theaters. Even though the pandemic has turned movie publishing traditions, Sony’s deal with Starz continues to uphold those pandemic standards.

This is why Spider-Man: No Way Home takes a lot longer to start streaming in Starz: Its timeline is an artifact from a different era of movies.

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