Strange World to skip French cinemas as Disney protests streaming laws

Strange World

Disney is taking its big animated holiday movie Strange World direct to Disney+ in France in a protest over the country’s streaming laws.

Disney confirmed on Twitter that Strange World (titled Avalonia in France) will go directly to Disney+

It subsequently released a strongly worded statement to Deadline on the subject stating: “Strange World will be available to all Disney+ subscribers in France, foregoing a French cinematic release. While we support French cinema – and have for decades – the new, cumbersome media chronology is anti-consumer, ignoring how behaviour has evolved over the last several years and puts us at increased risk for piracy. We will continue to make decisions on a film-by-film basis and according to each market’s unique conditions.”

Current laws in France force Disney to wait 17 months before it can release movies to Disney+ after a theatrical release. The company can only put theatrical releases on the streamer following a four month purchase window and exclusive six-month Canal+ window. Even then, the company can only keep it exclusively on Disney+ for five months before it goes to free-to-air channels for a 14 month period. Only 36 months after a theatrical release can a film exclusively revert to Disney+.

Remarkably, this situation was even worse prior to the introduction of a new law earlier this year which shortened the windows. 

Disney had previously argued that the rules favour Netflix and Canal+, with the companies given a 15-month window before films can revert to the platform versus Disney+’s 36 months.

Read Next