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Will Marvel’s ‘Eternals’ stick to the current release schedule?

Published Sep 9th, 2021 8:23PM EDT
Marvel Eternals Release
Image: Marvel Studios

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Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

turned out to be a huge success for Marvel. It’s the first MCU film Disney released exclusively in theaters during the pandemic. Every other MCU movie set to premiere in 2021 will get theatrical-only releases, assuming that Disney, Marvel, and Sony don’t change their plans. Eternals should come out on November 5th, followed by Spider-Man: No Way Home on December 17th. There are some signs that Eternals might premiere on time, although there is still a chance that it could be pushed back.

Marvel’s Shang-Chi release success

The pandemic made going to the movies problematic last year when studios postponed releases or sent them to streaming. The number of cases has been rising in various markets in recent weeks, leading to another wave of movie delays. Some blockbusters were pushed back to 2022, and others were sent to streaming.

Disney CEO Bob Chapek made an unfortunate comment about Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings in the weeks leading to the film’s premiere. He called the movie an “interesting experiment,” a comment that Shang-Chi actor Simu Liu taxed immediately. But Chapek was referring to Disney’s release plans for the remaining MCU films of the year. This led to speculation that the release of Eternals and No Way Home might see changes depending on the pandemic’s evolution. Disney and Marvel only control Eternals, however. Sony is in charge of Spider-Man release plans.

Would enough people go watch the film in theaters now that there isn’t a Disney Plus Premier Access option? The four-day Labor Day weekend gave Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings an opening weekend take of $94.4 million. That’s better than initial estimates, which called for $50 million in sales for the first three days. The actual figure rose to $75.5 for the period.

Marvel’s Kevin Feige said during the Shang-Chi red-carpet premiere that he’d like Eternals to get a theater-only release.

Eternals premiere still set for November 5th


and Marvel are yet to announce any changes to the current release plans for Eternals. The film has a November 5th theater-only premiere. According to Variety, insiders say Disney has a little over two weeks to decide what to do with Eternals. The studio could delay the premiere or switch back to the day-and-date release it gave Black Widow, even if that goes against Marvel’s plans.

We heard the same thing a few days ago about Sony’s late 2021 movies. The studio might postpone Venom 2 and No Way Home. The latter could hit theaters in March 2022, taking the slot of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. But the Shang-Chi success seemed to have convinced Sony to release Venom 2 two weeks ahead of schedule.

The Variety report notes that the Shang-Chi opening weekend performance isn’t the sole factor when it comes to Disney and Marvel. Box office revenue for the second weekend will show whether Shang-Chi has long-term prospects at the box office.

Rumors and speculation aside, a leaked article earlier this week seemed to indicate that the Eternals release is still on schedule. The October edition of Empire Magazine delivers an exciting detail about the Eternals plot. It reveals precisely when the movie takes place relative to Endgame.

As Marvel’s marketing campaign ramps up, we expect to see more interviews with the cast and crew in the weeks leading to the Eternals premiere. The article leak seems to suggest the film will make its early November release date. However, it’s not enough to tell us whether we’re looking at a theaters-only release or a day-and-date premiere. Not to mention that Disney and Marvel might always choose to postpone the Eternals release, depending on what happens with the health crisis.

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.