After seeing the huge success of Shang-Chi, Disney announced on Friday that upcoming 2021 films “Eternals,” “The Last Duel,” “West Side Story,” “Ron’s Gone Wrong” and “The King’s Man” will get exclusive 45-day theatrical windows before moving to Disney Plus.
Also, at the same time, the animated musical “Encanto” will play in theaters for 30 days starting on November 24, before hitting Disney Plus.
The decision is clearly in favor of Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige, who has been vocal both internally and in the press about his desire for Marvel’s feature films to play exclusively in theaters. So, that’s a clear win for the chief Kevin Feige.
As stated above this decision comes after the success of Marvel’s first exclusive theatrical release in more than two years, “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” which has grossed $105.9 million domestically through Wednesday.
For comparison, “Shang-Chi” is formerly outpacing the theatrical grosses of “Black Widow,” which has earned $100.7 million including its theatrical run and Disney Plus Premier Access. Certainly, it makes “Shang-Chi” one of the best performing theatrical releases of the pandemic era and practically an existential boon for exhibitors in desperate need of some good news like Eternals releasing on Nov. 5, will now be shown exclusively in theaters for 45 days.
Disney’s schedule of 20th Century Studios features; “The Last Duel” on Oct. 15, “Ron’s Gone Wrong” on Oct. 22, “West Side Story” on Dec. 10, and “The King’s Man” on Dec. 22.
The chairman of Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution, Kareem Daniel said, “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.”
He also said, “As confidence in moviegoing continues to improve, we look forward to entertaining audiences in theaters, while maintaining the flexibility to give our Disney Plus subscribers the gift of ‘Encanto’ this holiday season.”
Recently, Walt Disney Studios has updated its upcoming release schedule (until 2028), which includes four untitled Marvel films dated for the 2024 release window. You can see the updated schedule here.