The newest entry to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, won’t be premiering on Disney’s streaming service Disney Plus. Instead, the upcoming action movie will remain a theatrical exclusive, thanks to financial complications around Covid-19
According to Comicbook.com, the decision was revealed during Disney’s third-quarterly earnings call. CEO Bob Chapek confirmed that due to distribution agreements, and the recent rise in Covid-19 cases across the US – courtesy of the Delta variant – it would be “impossible” for Marvel’s Shang-Chi movie to release via Disney Plus Premier Access on September 3.
“As you probably recognise, we live in a very uncertain world in terms of the recovery of some of our markets, and the theatrical exhibition world is certainly a part of that. We said from the very beginning that we value flexibility and being able to make as last-minute calls as we can, given what we see in the marketplace,” Chapek said. “Certainly, when we planned our schedule that we’re executing right now, we did not anticipate — nor do I think anybody — the resurgence of Covid with a Delta variant that would have such a significant impact on the marketplace.”
Although it may be possible for the company to premiere the Disney movie in both theatres and its streaming service on the same day, Chapek is using the bump in the road as an opportunity, that may play a significant role in Marvel’s future releases.
“On Shang-Chi, we actually think it’s going to be an interesting experiment for us because it’s got only a 45-day window for us,” the CEO explained. “The prospect of being able to take a Marvel title to the service after going theatrical for 45 days will be yet another data point to inform our actions going forward on our titles.”
We’ll have to see what data the movie will give the company, and how it will affect the scheduling of superhero flicks as we move into Marvel Phase 4. In the meantime, fans living near cinemas can still look forward to Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which will release across UK and US theatres on September 3.