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This is when Marvel’s ‘Shang-Chi’ will hit Disney Plus

Published Aug 13th, 2021 9:45PM EDT
Shang-Chi Disney Plus
Image: Marvel Studios

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Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

is the second of Marvel’s four MCU movies releasing this year. But, unlike Black Widow, Shang-Chi won’t get a day-and-date release on Disney Plus. In fact, it was only Black Widow that was supposed to hit theaters and streaming on release day. Marvel and Disney wanted the remaining MCU films of the year to get proper cinema-only releases. However, the coronavirus pandemic took another turn, with the delta variant powering another significant wave of infections in the US and international markets. This prompted some studios to confirm new delays for their upcoming movies. Disney has kept Shang-Chi’s theatrical debut in place. But it hasn’t changed its mind about releasing it on Disney Plus on the same day.

After reports said that Sony might postpone Venom 2 to mid-October, the studio confirmed them on Thursday. This prompted speculation that other movies might see similar delays, including Spider-Man: No Way Home.

Disney, however, did not make any alternation to its current slate of movies, Marvel MCU adventures included. Disney confirmed as much during its quarterly earnings call on Thursday.

Shang-Chi release date for Disney Plus


revealed solid numbers for the June quarter, beating expectations. Disney Plus was one of the highlights of the earnings report. The company said Disney Plus subscriptions reached 116 million for the period, a notable increase over the March quarter when it reported 103.6 million subscribers.

Black Widow has been a huge hit on Premier Access in early May. It was the first time Disney revealed Premier Access figures for a film. But the Black Widow success on streaming had an unexpected side effect. Scarlett Johansson sued Disney, alleging that the company breached its contractual obligations when it gave the film a day-and-date release.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will not premiere on Disney Plus on the same day with its theatrical release. Disney confirmed that much, saying that it’s still experimenting with viewership during the pandemic. Disney did not delay the Shang-Chi premiere either.

The film launches on September 3rd in cinemas, where it’ll run for 45 days before the Disney Plus release. In other words, you’ll have to wait until October 18th to see the second MCU movie of the year on Disney Plus, free of charge. That is, you won’t have to pay the Premier Access free on top of the Disney Plus subscription.

What about Eternals and No Way Home?

“The prospect of being able to take a Marvel title to the service after going theatrical with 45 days will be yet another data point to inform our actions going forward on our titles,” CEO Bob Chapek said during the interview.

It’s too early to tell how the Shang-Chi performance will influence other Marvel movies releasing this year. Eternals has a November 5th release date. No Way Home premieres on December 17th. That’s assuming Disney and Sony do not delay any of them.

As for their streaming debut, it’s Eternals that will definitely hit Disney Plus after its theatrical debut. Spider-Man 3 is a Sony movie, so it’s unclear when it’ll reach Disney’s streaming service.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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