According to a Vulture report, since the Walt Disney Company acquired 21st Century Fox many theater managers and film programmers have had a harder time showing older films from the 21st Century Fox catalog.
Reportedly classic films like The Sound of Music, which were occasionally shown in smaller for-profit theaters are now unavailable. Many of the smaller sometimes struggling theaters need to show these classic films to maintain a steady flow of income. A film programmer told Vulture, “Over the course of a year, it all adds up. A lot of these movies are what you’d call ‘steady earners’ for theaters. You show them, and people turn up.”
Even bigger theater chains, like Cineplex, are noticing that these films are no longer available.
It is unclear if this is part of Disney’s longstanding “Disney Vault” approach, in which they keep older films unavailable for long periods of time to then create excitement when they are re-released back into public consumption. It could also be films that will be brought to Disney’s upcoming streaming service Disney+.