wonder‘s Eternals has just been released in theaters, and has already been one of the biggest box office hits of the pandemic, topping the top-grossing U.S. movies rankings so far this year. Part of Marvel’s return to the box office titan is due to the streaming strategy of its latest films – which is not them at all.
Unlike other Disney movies released earlier in The Pandemic, Shang-Chi and Eternals were not available to air on 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.
Does Marvel’s Eternals air on Disney Plus or HBO Max?
No, Eternals – the next star-filled Marvel movie in the superhero franchise – hits theaters exclusively on Friday. It is not available in streaming, not on HBO Max nor 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 first release on Friday.
- Disney Plus will be the only service that (eventually) airs Eternals when it becomes available to stream, but we have no real indication as to when Eternals will air on Disney Plus. It may arrive at Disney Plus immediately after the 45-day theatrical window, or it may take longer while Eternals releases as an online rental and in other formats.
- Eternals is unlikely (but possible) to be available to stream sooner than Shang-Chi, that is, after around 70 days in theaters.
- Shang-Chi’s streaming strategy may be an indicator of how Disney will approach the Disney Plus Eternals release schedule. But, given that the Disney Plus release of Shang-Chi is tied to a November 12 marketing campaign (see below), Shang-Chi may not be a reliable precedent for how Disney will approach the timing of the release. streaming for Eternals.
- But if (a big “if”) Eternals follows Shang-Chi’s playbook, then it will arrive on Disney Plus around 70 days after its theatrical release, which should time the availability of Disney Plus from the Eternals 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 toapproximately 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.
It’s more likely that Eternals will become available to stream on Disney Plus much sooner than the pre-pandemic standard. Unfortunately, we won’t know for sure until Disney confirms its streaming plan for Eternals, and Disney likely won’t do so for some time.
When will Shang-Chi air on Disney Plus?
Shang-Chi and the legend of the ten rings will land on to air on November 12, 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.
Shang-Chi had pledged to be in theaters exclusively for at least 45 days, which passed in mid-October. Between the end of this theatrical exclusive window and November 12, 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 on the service as well as other trailers, clips and promotional gadgets. On the same day, 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 November 12, when any Disney Plus subscriber can watch it without paying anything extra.
Why does 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 shut down or downsized, Disney Plus became an outlet for the company to bring films 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 home movies 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 theatrical exclusivity plans. 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 exclusive, 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 Spider-Man’s first four weeks of 2019 release he 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 film in the world’s most successful movie franchise – fans will come back to the theaters if they can’t stream it at home.
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