I guess this was inevitable, but Disney must have a lot of faith in theatergoers bringing all their friends and family with them to pay this kind of scratch for the rights.
Oh, and this isn’t even for an original production. This is for the movie the stage director filmed of the stage show. I wonder if this is primarily a Disney+ play. Get some money from theaters, but then use it as a tentpole for the streaming service.
Disney won the deal with a commitment for a wide global theatrical release for the 2 hour, 40 minute movie, which was shot two weeks before the original cast left.
Not to mention that a well-done filming of the original cast is probably 10 times better than an “original production”. Cats? I assume this is the same film that appeared in the PBS ‘story of’ show - if so, it was really well done.
I saw it last year with the traveling cast and I don’t think there were any original members at that point but it was amazing nonetheless. If you get a chance to see it, go for it. I don’t think it will detract from seeing the original cast production on a movie screen two years from now.
Just a reminder in case anyone is thinking of visiting the UK (maybe before Brexit kicks in properly?), the London production has been consistently excellent over the couple of years it has been running. Prices are reasonable (from ~£40 for certain seats) and it’s not too difficult to get tickets if you book a few months in advance.
Not really. You may think copyright laws are utterly ridiculous at this point, and I do, but you still need to respect the fact that they exist and that there are fees associated with public showings of copy written works. Disney’s licensing arm was actually reasonable in this case, the fine was the exact amount of what a public showing license would have cost.
Basically, I think Disney are horrible for the lobbying they’ve done that’s resulted in the never-expiring copyrights of their works. But this example was pretty benign.
I think there will still be a theater release of some kind. Maybe as a special event, maybe as a short run. It’ll just be less hyped-up. Plus, who knows what a “theater release” even looks like in 2021, now that the studios have had tastes of at-home releases?
(But given that so far, the only way I was able to watch the show with the original cast was via a rough bootleg recording that was on Youtube for a few hours one afternoon in 2017, I’ll gladly take the streaming release. Very excited for them to move it up.)