Why France is About to Go to War With Disney+

Strange World is an upcoming Disney film that centers around the family of Clades which is full of adventurers. The film is directed by Don Hall and is set to release in theatres on 23rd November 2022. However, the Fédération Nationale des Cinémas Français (FNCF) and The Walt Disney Company are in dispute over the release of Strange World in France.

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Disney to release Strange World directly to Disney+ in France

Poster of Disney's Strange World
Poster of Disney’s Strange World

According to the new guidelines set by The Fédération Nationale des Cinémas Français (FNCF), the trading body for French exhibitors, the streaming platform will have to wait four months after the film’s theatrical release to put it on video on demand, and 17 months before placing the film on streaming. Moreover, five months after the film is on Disney+, the streamer is obligated to temporarily remove it in order to offer a 14-month window of exclusivity to free-to-air broadcasterFrance’so France’s strict regulations on the release window of films, Disney has decided not to release the film in theatres and has announced that the film will be released directly to Disney+.

Disney justified its decision by stating,

Strange World will be available to all Disney+ subscribers in France, forgoing a French cinematic release. While we support French cinema – and have for decades – the new, cumbersome media chronology is anti-consumer, ignoring how behavior has evolved over the last several years and putting 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.”

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“From what we understand, Disney is unhappy with the fact that they have to pull out their titles from their service to allow free-to-air channels to have their exclusive window, so what we are telling them is, ‘Instead of putting pressure on cinemas, please come and discuss with tv channels.'”

Disney and FNCP’s tumultuous history


This isn’t the first time that the two have disagreed about the release of a film on the streaming platform. In 2020, Disney sent Pixar’s Soul directly to Disney+; needless to say, The FNCP was not happy about this and felt that Disney’s decision was “economically totally unjustified.”

Concerning the situation, the FNCP stated,

“The theatres wish to share their immense frustration with regards to this decision, which is destructive to the entire sector,”

Disney and FNCP are likely to resolve the issue over the release of Strange World

A still from Strange World's teaser trailer
A still from Strange World’s teaser trailer

However, despite the disagreement, Disney and FNCP are working to resolve the issue. FNCP has asked Disney to attend meetings with the National Centre for Cinema and the Moving Image of France in order to discuss the matter. Hopefully, the two will come to a conclusion that is beneficial for both the parties and one that does not compromise the viewer’s demands.

Watch the trailer of the film here:

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Source – Variety 

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