Shang-Chi’s Success Inaugurates New Era for Marvel in Theaters

Already in theaters in Brazil and around the world, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings broke a record by becoming the most profitable film to be released during Labor Day weekend in the United States. The success of the feature made Marvel confirm a new trend for its post-pandemic releases: 45 days in theaters before its release on Disney+.

In July 2021, Black Widow was released simultaneously in theaters and on Disney+, which harmed – and a lot – its income. In addition, the fact that the film was immediately available in streaming contributed to a greater number of people watching the feature in a pirated way.


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The release model caused controversy, and made Scarlett Johansson sue Disney for breach of contract. Even having achieved one of the biggest box offices of 2021, Black Widow could have earned much more if she spent more time exclusively in theaters.

The evidence of Shang-Chi’s success confirms that the mood is changing in theaters, and ushers in the new era for Marvel after the Covid-19 pandemic. The IndieWire website talked about the topic; check it out below.

What does Shang-Chi mean for Disney’s future?

The success of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings in theaters not only ushers in a new era for Marvel after social isolation, but also brings a major shift to the release model adopted by Disney in 2020 and 2021.

The company has confirmed that it will have a window of at least one month between the release of its new cinema and Disney+ movies.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings opened in theaters on September 2, 2021. The film is not expected to hit Disney+ until mid-October, likely after the 15th.

For all upcoming Marvel premieres – including The Forevers, which is yet to be released in 2021 – Disney has confirmed that the films will not be released in the Disney+ or Hulu catalog until 45 days after they open in theaters.

Encanto, an animated film that will also be released by Disney in 2021, will feature an exclusive 30-day window. After this period, the film must appear in the company’s digital catalogue.

The strategy represents a new breath for movie theaters, and could only be carried out with the advance of vaccination and the relaxation of social isolation measures.

However, as a large part of the population in the United States refuses to take immunization, this model can still change. It all depends on the progression of the pandemic in the coming months.

Among Disney movies slated for release in 2021, Encanto is the only one with a 30-day window. All others will have 45 exclusive days in theaters.

The list of movies with the 45-day window in theaters features The Last Duel (September 15), Ron’s Gone Wrong (October 22), The Forever (November 5), West Side Story (December 10), and The King’s Man (December 22nd).

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