Marvel’s Shang-Chi to (finally) stream ‘for free’ on Disney Plus tonight ‘

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Shang-Chi is no longer available to stream, or even to rent online, since its theatrical release in early September.

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wonder‘s Shang-Chi and the legend of the ten rings is one of the biggest box office hits of the pandemic, topping the top-grossing U.S. movies rankings so far this year. Part of its box office success is down to Shang-Chi’s streaming strategy – which isn’t streaming at all.

Eternals just hit theaters last week and has followed suit. Unlike other Disney movies released earlier in the pandemic, Shang-Chi and Eternals were not available to stream on Disney plus when they hit theaters. Although it surely helped to strengthen Shang-ChiThe box office to take and will likely push more people to theaters to see Eternals, the strategy serves to crimp the options for fans who have become accustomed to streaming movies on the same day during the COVID-19 pandemic.

When will Shang-Chi air on Disney Plus? What is his exit time?

Shang-Chi and the legend of the ten rings will land on Disney plus Airing Friday early mornings starting at 12:01 am PT / 3:01 am ET. It will be available to watch at no additional cost to subscribers.

That’s much faster than Disney’s theatrical releases on the streaming service before the pandemic, when it typically took five to eight months. But it’s still longer than some fans had hoped.

Disney has pledged to keep Shang-Chi in theaters exclusively for at least 45 days, which have passed by mid-October. Between the end of that theatrical exclusive window and Friday, Shang-Chi didn’t even become available for rental online through platforms like Amazon, Apple or others.

The streaming release of Shang-Chi is expected to coincide with what Disney is calling Disney Plus Day, a marketing campaign that will also include the release of some autonomous promotions on the service as well as other trailers, clips and promotional gadgets. Along with Shang-Chi, Jungle Cruise will be unlocked for all Disney Plus subscribers to watch at no additional cost. This movie became available on Disney Plus the same day it hit theaters, but to stream it, subscribers had to pay an additional $ 30. That changes on Friday, when any Disney Plus subscriber can watch it without paying anything extra.

Why did it take so long for Shang-Chi to be available on Disney Plus?

On September 3, Shang-Chi became available exclusively in theaters, a big change from Disney’s model during the pandemic. As theaters closed or reduced capacity, Disney Plus became an outlet for society to make films available to a wider audience, especially as the backlog of overdue films grew.

Some Disney movies – usually low budget live-action movies and its latest Pixar, Luca, and Soul movies – skipped theaters completely and were available to stream at Disney plus no additional cost. For bigger movies, Disney Plus introduced its Premier Access model to sell streaming access to new movies on the big screen. Disney Plus members could stream brand new movies at home for $ 30 on top of their subscription price. Disney has released five films with this Premier Access option, including wonder‘s Black Widow in July.

Then, as vaccinations widened, Disney reintroduced plans for theatrical exclusives. The first movie to hit theaters this way was Free Guy, a 20th century video game comedy from Disney Studios. It hit theaters on August 13, with a 45-day pledge to be only available in theaters.

Shang-Chi was the second Disney film to get a theatrical exclusivity, arriving in theaters on September 3 with the same 45-day window. It was the first wonder The Cinematic Universe movie has only been released in theaters since the release of Sony’s Spider-Man: Far from Home in July 2019. Shang-Chi’s box office performance has not kept pace with a release. Pre-pandemic MCU like Far From Home – in the first four weeks after Spider-Man released in 2019, it grossed over $ 340 million at the domestic box office, while Shang-Chi’s first four weeks exceeded barely $ 200 million.

But Shang-Chi has also done better at the box office than several pre-pandemic Marvel films, like Ant-Man in 2015. And given that demand in theaters still remains depressed compared to the pre-pandemic era, Shang -Chi has been a good performer at the box office, especially in the United States.

Shang-Chi has essentially proven that – at least for a movie that is part of the world’s biggest blockbuster movie franchise – fans will come back to the theaters if they can’t stream it at home.

When will Marvel’s Eternals premiere on Disney Plus?

Eternals – the next star-filled Marvel movie in the superhero franchise – hit theaters exclusively last Friday. It is not available in streaming, not on Disney plus, HBO Max or anywhere else.

Eternals does not yet have a confirmed streaming release date.

But here’s what we know, and some educated guesses on what to expect:

  • Disney expects Eternals to be in theaters exclusively for at least 45 days after its Friday debut.
  • Disney Plus will be the only service that (eventually) airs Eternals when it becomes available to stream.
  • The CEO of Disney said that Eternals to come to Disney Plus after 45-day theatrical exclusivity – but he did not specify that it would be available to stream immediately after that 45-day window has passed.
  • If Eternals lands on Disney Plus immediately after 45 Days in Cinema, that would mean the streaming release would be on or around December 20.
  • But it may be much later than that. Shang-Chi, for example, was in theaters for about 70 days before its Disney Plus release.
  • However, Shang-Chi’s streaming strategy may not be a reliable precedent for how Disney is approaching the release of Eternals. Since Shang-Chi’s Disney Plus release ties into the Disney Plus Day marketing campaign, Disney may approach Eternals timing differently.
  • If (a big “if”) Eternals is keeping up with Shang-Chi’s playbook, then it will arrive on Disney Plus around 70 days after its theatrical release, which should time the Eternals’ Disney Plus availability around January 11.

Then again, it could take several months for Eternals to start streaming. Before the pandemic, new Disney films would make their way to Disney plus approximately five to eight months after their premiere in theaters. If Disney returns to this standard, it’s possible that Disney Plus subscribers will wait until summer 2022 to start streaming Eternals.

Eternals is more likely to be available to stream on Disney Plus much earlier than the pre-pandemic standard. Sadly, we won’t know for sure until Disney confirms its streaming plan for Eternals, and Disney likely won’t do so for some time.


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