Disney announced today that the upcoming MCU film Eternals is one of many movies that will skip Disney+ Premier Access and instead release exclusively in theaters for 45 days starting November 5 before making its way to digital platforms.
The news comes after the release of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which follows the same 45-day theatrical release strategy and grossed over $105.9 million domestically since Wednesday. This number may not sound like much but considering that the movie was released during a tumultuous global health crisis, it’s enough to convince Disney not to follow through with the day-and-date release strategy they gave to several of their summer blockbusters, including Cruella and Black Widow.
Speaking of Black Widow, the final MCU entry for Scarlett Johansson, who is currently suing Disney over contractual disputes regarding the film’s release plan, grossed $100.7 million since it hit theaters and Disney+ Premier Access in July. Therefore, Shang-Chi is one of the best performing theatrical releases in the pandemic, which is great news for movie theater owners who have been struggling to keep their doors open in these difficult times.
The news that Eternals will only release in theaters may also come as a delight for a little known Disney employee named Kevin Feige, who prioritizes the theater-going experience for his movies.
Only in Theaters
Other Disney movies that will receive the exclusive 45-day release in theaters include The Last Duel (October 15), Ron’s Gone Wrong (October 22), West Side Story (December 10), and The King’s Man (December 22).
Conversely, the animated musical Encanto will stay in theaters for 30 days starting November 24 and then move onto Disney+.
“Following the tremendous box office success of our summer films which included five of the top eight domestic releases of the year, we are excited to update our theatrical plans for the remainder of 2021,” said Kareem Daniel, Chairman, Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution. “As confidence in moviegoing continues to improve, we look forward to entertaining audiences in theaters, while maintaining the flexibility to give our Disney+ subscribers the gift of Encanto this holiday season.”
While studios continue to simultaneously release upcoming movies in theaters and on streaming, Disney is sure to please moviegoers who want to see as many new films in theaters as possible before the year ends.