Disney and Marvel confirm that The Eternals will be released exclusively in theaters in a shift of their pandemic business model.
Marvel has confirmed that they will be releasing The Eternals exclusively in theaters. This is a slight deviation from their current business model, where they have been releasing movies on Disney Plus and in theaters simultaneously. The exception to this rule was the recently released Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Shang-Chi became the second highest grossing movie for an opening weekend during the pandemic. Shang-Chi collected $71 million dollars at the box office in its first three days. In an impressive feat, and notwithstanding the pandemic, Shang-Chi managed to beat the opening weekend releases of Captain America: The First Avenger, Thor and also Ant-Man.
There was a lot riding on the release of Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings. The success of the film was seen as a measuring stick to determine whether Marvel would release The Eternals any time soon. No doubt other movie studios would’ve also kept an eye on Shang-Chi’s performance to decide what to do with their upcoming releases as well. The decision to release The Eternals was most likely due to a mix of the box office success that Shang-Chi has demonstrated is possible due to the pandemic era, and also the legal issues Disney and Marvel have had to contend with as a result of releasing Black Widow in theaters and on Disney Plus simultaneously.
The Wrap reports that Disney has made the final decision to release The Eternals exclusively in theaters to begin with, due to the combined box office triumph of Black Widow and Shang-Chi. Theaters will enjoy 45 days of exclusivity when it comes to showing The Eternals. After the initial 45 days, The Eternals should be available for streaming on Disney Plus. Below is what Kareem Daniel, chairmen of Disney Media Entertainment Distribution, had to say on the of upcoming movie releases:
"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. 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.”
The Delta variant of Covid-19 made studios across the globe nervous when it came to releasing movies in theaters, amid fears that audiences would be reluctant to attend. However, the success of Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings has alleviated these fears to an extent and studios should feel more assured releasing movies in theaters going forward. An example of this is Sony moving forward the release of Venom: Let There Be Carnage to early October, rather than October 22 2021 as they had originally planned.
The Eternals is scheduled to be released in theaters on 5 November 2021. Marvel has a busy schedule ahead which will allow fans to enjoy new releases of content on Disney Plus and in theaters all the way to the end of the year. Hawkeye will be the next Marvel series to be releases on Disney Plus which will follow the release of The Eternals. Spider-Man: No Way Home is the marquee release of the year for Disney and Marvel, and that movie is currently scheduled for release on 17 December 2021.
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