Gal Gadot was going to be one of the only major stars with theatrical releases in 2020. Wonder Woman 1984 is currently still slated to open in theaters nationwide on December 25, but her other film, Death on the Nile, was recently pulled from the schedule by Disney. And it looks like a new press release might have accidentally revealed that Death on the Nile is headed to video-on-demand.
Writer Karen Han noticed that a marketing press release for a gimmick gig about binge-watching movies offered up a very intriguing prize. Check out the tweet from Han that seems to reveal something pretty noteworthy about the Gal Gadot film:
The release says that one of the compensations for the gig is a gift card that will allow the person to purchase Death on the Nile when it is released on December 18. This is the very first we have heard about the Gal Gadot movie potentially heading to video-on-demand or streaming platforms. Is it possible that this press release accidentally revealed that Disney/Fox is planning to put Death on the Nile on video-on-demand?
If so, that would be a huge shift in the distribution plan for Death on the Nile. However, it also would not be the biggest surprise. The Gal Gadot movie was one of the films that were acquired by Disney after they merged with 20th Century Fox. It is worth arguing that Death on the Nile is not a high priority release for Disney, and shipping it onto video-on-demand platforms might not be the biggest loss for them. It doesn’t help that the 2021 theatrical calendar is continuing to get overloaded. Disney might not have space for Death on the Nile against everything else next year.
Death on the Nile is a sequel to Murder on the Orient Express, and that movie was a significant success back in 2017. However, it is unclear if there was any fervor around a potential new installment in the series. Although stars like Gal Gadot and Armie Hammer joined the cast of the sequel, it’s hard to say if Death on the Nile was one of the more anticipated releases of the year. And with it now vacating theaters indefinitely, it is hard to imagine the hype for it is any stronger.
2020 has forced many films to either reschedule or find alternate means of distribution. Will Death on the Nile be the next movie to see if the video-on-demand market is viable for major releases like this? And with Gal Gadot now being the only star with a theatrical release left on the calendar – it is very difficult to believe Wonder Woman 1984 will keep its Christmas Day release date at this point – the question of video-on-demand as a viable option continues to raise its head.
If Death on the Nile does end up going the video-on-demand route, it is going to be even more data that we can examine regarding audiences’ willingness to try out the distribution method for substantial new releases. It is going to be extremely interesting to see if this is how Death on the Nile eventually makes its way to viewers.