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Disney Plus is giving Marvel movies a big IMAX upgrade

Marvel IMAX

Just as Eternals landed in theaters, Disney is getting ready to release Shang-Chi online on Disney Plus. It’s coming this Friday when Disney is also set to hold its special Disney Plus Day event to celebrate the streaming service’s second anniversary. Disney will make various announcements about upcoming projects, including Marvel content. And Disney has another great surprise for Marvel fans. You can stream several MCU movies available on Disney Plus in IMAX, which should further improve the MCU experience.

What’s going to change?

As we saw earlier this year with The Snyder Cut, IMAX content isn’t always ideal for the TV watching experience. IMAX content will show more vertical content, so the black bars at the top and bottom go away. That’s great for some shots, especially in superhero movies like the ones Marvel makes. But you might get black bars on the sides as the aspect ratio changes.

Disney is going in a slightly different direction with the Marvel movies getting the IMAX treatment on Disney Plus. Disney and IMAX will use an Expanded Aspect Ratio, which is 1.90:1. That means you’ll get smaller black bars and the top and bottom in some scenes. That way, “more of the action is visible on screen, just as the filmmakers intended,” according to the announcement.

Marvel IMAX
Marvel movies streaming in IMAX Enhanced aspect ratio on Disney Plus. Image source: Disney

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is one of the movies getting the IMAX treatment on Disney Plus. The example above gives you an idea of how the aspect ratio will change on your TV. The areas above and below the blue lines represent the extra content you’ll see in IMAX Marvel movies on Disney Plus.

What Marvel movies get IMAX support on Disney Plus?

Marvel has released 26 movies so far, and I’m including Eternals on the list, though it’s not on Disney Plus yet. Two of those are Spider-Man films that Marvel made with Sony. They’re not available on Disney Plus either. That means you can watch 23 MCU movies on Disney Plus right now. And we’d advise you to watch all the MCU movies in the proper chronological order to get the most of it.

By the way, if you’re new to the MCU, you’ll want to check out our guide that covers the basics of this massive ecosystem.

As for the Marvel movies streaming in IMAX on Disney Plus, not all 23 releases will have IMAX scenes. Some of them were shot entirely in IMAX format, like Infinity War and Endgame. Others only have a few minutes of IMAX action.

In all, you’ll find 13 Marvel movies with IMAX content on Disney Plus. Here they are in alphabetical order — not to be confused with the MCU timeline:

  • Ant-Man and the Wasp
  • Avengers: Endgame
  • Avengers: Infinity War
  • Black Panther
  • Black Widow
  • Captain America: Civil War
  • Captain Marvel
  • Doctor Strange
  • Iron Man
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
  • Thor: Ragnarok

More Marvel movies with IMAX content will follow now that Disney and IMAX upgraded the MCU titles. Eternals will be next, and it’s set to launch on Disney Plus 45 days after the theatrical premiere. Also, to get started on the MCU, check out this link.

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 closely follows the events in 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.