Disney on why Nomadland is coming to Disney+’s Star in Canada two months after the U.S.

Disney says this isn't a sign that Canadians will continue to get Hulu content later than the U.S.


Fox Searchlight’s Nomadland is one of 2020’s most acclaimed films and has garnered numerous accolades, including the People’s Choice Award at TIFF.

In fact, the films that take home TIFF’s top honour have, historically, been known to win Best Picture at the Oscars. In addition to all this award buzz, the film is written and directed by Chloé Zhao, who also helmed Marvel’s upcoming Eternals film, making it noteworthy among comic fans as well.

However, while Nomadland eventually released on Hulu in the U.S. on February 19th, it’s not set to arrive in Canada until April 9th via Disney+’s Star, the international version of Hulu. A theatrical rollout in the Greater Toronto Area will begin on March 19th wherever cinemas are open.

In a recent interview with MobileSyrup, Greg Mason, Walt Disney Studios Canada vice president of marketing, explained that this release structure — which will see the film become available for the majority of Canadians nearly two months after the U.S. — isn’t indicative of a larger trend of Star getting content later than Hulu.

“The challenge has really just been COVID times and finding a way to get it out. And so, as you can imagine, yes, the U.S. has it on Hulu as of Friday [February 19th], but we did not have Star as of Friday,” said Mason. “And we can’t put Nomadland on Disney+ without proper parental controls and all of those features. And as you can also imagine, loading thousands of episodes and movies is a process and, you know, takes some brilliant programmers who are a lot smarter than I am to put it all together.”

Mason went on to say that Disney just “wanted to give Nomadland a chance at a theatrical release,” although he noted that “not all places will be open” come mid-March/early April amid the pandemic. This is why the film is getting a Disney+ Star release, he says.

However, he stressed that Canadians getting Nomadland later than the U.S. was more of an isolated situation, not the norm.

“I really wouldn’t read into the timing. It’s not that Canada is getting it delayed — it was really just about the strategy for that specific film,” said Mason. “For the Searchlight executives, Toronto and the Canadian market is so important to them for Nomadland — they really wanted to ensure we get the best possible release.”

Our full interview with Mason can be found here.

Image credit: Fox Searchlight