That was part one: Lupita Nyong’o, Chadwick Boseman, who died in August 2020, and Letitia Wright in “Black Panther”.
In France, Disney is now showing the blockbuster “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” in cinemas, and then only in streaming. Did the cinema-friendly cultural policy win?
AThe film “Black Panther” was also a box-office hit in France. It was so successful that Disney sent the sequel to the transatlantic culture war: Hollywood against the French “exception culturelle”. For months, the entertainment giant has threatened not to show the sequel “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” in cinemas, but to distribute it directly via its Disney+ streaming service. Once a film hits the cinema in France, subscribers to a streaming service have to wait around 500 days for it. It was even 36 months before the so-called “chronology of the media” was reformed earlier this year. In the United States, the waiting period is 45 days. At the last minute, Disney changed its mind when it came to distribution in France: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever premieres in Paris on November 9th.
Blackest September in forty years
Things are looking bleak for French cinemas at the moment. They had their blackest September in more than 40 years, registering just 7.4 million entries. The industry had hoped in vain for a spring in autumn after a summer with few visitors. Annual visitor numbers have fallen by a third. Since the beginning of the corona pandemic, viewers have stayed at home. Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+ benefit from the changed habits. France has often been ridiculed, but also praised, for its cultural-political defensive battle against Hollywood, which is also evident in a point such as the theatrical release of a film. It is the only country in Europe that has kept a functioning film industry alive throughout all crises. But at the moment there is talk of the “death of cinema”.