Eternals Coming to Disney Plus, Finally Streaming ‘Free’ Tonight

Angelina Jolie as Thena and Lauren Ridloff as Makkari on a windswept beach

Eternals was released exclusively in theaters on November 5.

Marvel Studios

from marvel eternal The release date for streaming on Disney Plus has finally arrived, with the movie available to stream tonight at no additional cost to subscribers. But just as post-pandemic life has remained frustratingly out of reach, it’s just as difficult to know where and when Disney releases all of its movies now.

Disney Plus it was only up and running for about four months when the COVID-19 pandemic struck. In the nearly two years since then, Disney has reimagined the service as an outlet to release big, new movies while theaters were closed or limping. But after all of its movies debuted in theaters exclusively since August, Disney said on Friday that Pixar’s upcoming feature, Turning Red, skip theaters to stream exclusively on Disney Plus from March 11th. In countries where Disney Plus is not operating (such as China, the world’s biggest movie market), the movie is planned to be released in theaters… at some point. These dates have not yet been announced.

And even for movies like Encanto, Marvel’s Eternals and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, the time you had to wait before reaching Disney Plus varied. This return to a cinema-only strategy has helped boost the box office performance of these films, but these are limited options for fans who have become accustomed to having more choice in how, where and when to watch new movies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

When is the Eternals release date and time on Disney Plus?

Eternals will arrive on Disney Plus Wednesday morning, available to stream at no additional cost to all subscribers starting at midnight PT (3 am ET). Eternals will be part of the standard streaming catalog and will not require an extra fee to watch. Some people refer to this as the date the Eternals will stream “for free,” but everything on Disney Plus requires a paid subscription.

Like Shang-Chi, Eternals is coming to Disney Plus much later in its release cycle than other Disney films in the past year. The Wednesday streaming release date for Eternals is around 68 days after its wide theatrical release.

While this streaming release schedule is faster than the pre-pandemic norm, when it would normally take five to eight months for a theatrical film to reach Disney Plus, Eternals still had an exclusive period in theaters about the same as some had before. of the pandemic. shook everything. Eternals was exclusively in theaters for about 68 days; the pre-pandemic norm for theatrical exclusives was around 75 to 90 days.

The difference now: Disney is essentially skipping Disney Plus ahead, so it’s first in line after theaters. Previously, formats like online rentals, Blu-ray and DVD would be the first home viewing options after a theatrical showing of a movie, and the Disney Plus release date would come months later. Starting early Wednesday, Eternals will come to Disney Plus at no additional cost the same day the film is available to rent online on all major digital platforms such as Amazon Video and Apple’s TV app.

What is the release date of Pixar’s Turning Red?

Pixar’s Turning Red will be available to stream on Disney Plus at no additional cost to all subscribers on March 11.

In every country where Disney Plus is operating, Turning Red is practically skipping theaters. In all countries where Disney Plus has not been released, the company will release the film in theaters, but has yet to announce when.

Pixar’s last two films – Soul in late 2020 and Luca in mid-2021 – were also released this way.

But Disney hasn’t released a movie straight to Disney Plus since Jungle Cruise in July, and even then, Jungle Cruise was available to stream only by paying an extra $30 fee through its Premier Access model.

Can I stream Enchantment ‘free’ on Disney Plus?

Yes, Enchantment became available to stream on Disney Plus on December 24 at no additional cost to all subscribers. That was just a month after its theatrical release. As part of the standard streaming catalog, it does not require an extra fee to watch. Some people refer to Enchantment as “free” to stream, but everything on Disney Plus requires a paid subscription.

That’s a longer wait than for some other Disney movies that were released early in the pandemic. As mentioned above, Pixar’s Soul and Luca, for example, went straight to Disney Plus.

But it’s much faster than Disney’s theatrical releases hit the streaming service before the pandemic. Before the pandemic, it typically took five to eight months for a movie to hit Disney Plus after it hit theaters. And it’s faster than Eternals and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which were in theaters for around 68 and 70 days, respectively. Charm arrived on Disney Plus after 30 days.

Why are Disney’s movie release plans all over the map?

Turning Red goes straight to streaming. Charm went from theaters to Disney Plus in a month. Shang-Chi and Eternals spent almost as much time in theaters as the pre-pandemic norm. What’s happening?

When the pandemic started, Disney made a big change to its movie release practices. As theaters closed or reduced capacity, Disney Plus became a way to bring new movies to a wider audience, especially as the backlog of films grew.

Some Disney movies — typically mid-budget live-action movies and Pixar movies like Luca and Soul — have skipped theaters entirely and were available to stream on Disney Plus at no extra cost. For the biggest movies, Disney Plus introduced its Premier Access model to sell streaming access to new big-screen movies for an extra fee. Disney Plus members can stream new movies at home for $30 on top of the subscription price. Disney released five movies with this Premier Access option, notably Marvel’s Black Widow in July.

Then, as vaccinations increased, Disney reintroduced theater exclusives — but with a shorter commitment to remaining theaters exclusively than before. The first movie to hit theaters this way was Free Guy, a video game comedy from Disney’s 20th Century Studios. It was released in theaters on August 13, with a 45-day commitment to be available in theaters only. Shang-Chi followed, hitting theaters (and theaters only) on September 3, also with a 45-day commitment.

But with moviegoers flocking to these movies, Disney has extended its exclusive cinema periods by more than 45 days. Shang-Chi has been in theaters exclusively for about 70 days, almost going back to the pre-pandemic norm that kept movies only in theaters for about 75 to 90 days.

Shang-Chi was a box office success. Shang-Chi’s box office performance didn’t keep up with a pre-pandemic Marvel Cinematic Universe release like 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home. In the first four weeks of Spider-Man’s 2019 release, he grossed over $$$. 340 million at the domestic box office, while Shang-Chi’s first four weeks barely surpassed $200 million. But Shang-Chi still fared better at the box office than several pre-pandemic Marvel movies like 2015’s Ant-Man.

Shang-Chi essentially proved that – for a film belonging to the biggest hit movie franchise in the world – fans will come back to theaters if they can’t stream it at home. That’s one of the main reasons Disney has turned to theatrical exclusives for its biggest movies.

And Disney makes some big budget movies. In order for these movies to be profitable in today’s Hollywood economy, they need to be box office hits. Streaming movies the same day they hit theaters definitely serves the interests of consumers and fans alike, giving them more choice on how and when to watch movies. But same-day streaming hurts box office performance. Lately, movies like Shang-Chi and Spider-Man: No Way Home have proven that big franchise movies can fill theaters again.

But family movies, Pixar’s specialty, have struggled with moviegoers by comparison. Compared to other adult viewers, parents may be more fearful of taking their children to crowded theaters as the coronavirus continues to circulate and infections rise.

Placing Pixar movies directly on Disney Plus is, in essence, a strategy to attract more subscribers and keep the ones you already have. Kareem Daniel, the Disney executive responsible for distribution calls like this, noted in the Turning Red announcement that Soul and Luca were “enthusiastically embraced” by Disney Plus subscribers when they went straight to the service.

And by uploading three Pixar movies directly to Disney Plus, Disney could also be protecting Pixar’s pristine reputation from criticism. and blockbusters, according to some experts: if Disney doesn’t put Pixar movies in theaters, it can’t have a disappointing theatrical run.

Some of Disney’s upcoming smaller movies have already been changed to Disney Plus originals, skipping theaters fully. This strategy particularly applies to mid-budget films, including Pinocchio, a live-action remake starring Tom Hanks; a reboot of Peter Pan; Disenchanted, a sequel to Enchanted that will see Amy Adams reprise her princess role; and Sister Act 3, reviving the nun comedy franchise.

But unlike those, Pixar’s Turning Red was destined to be released in theaters by Friday. The film had been on Disney’s calendar for a March 11 release in theaters for over a year.

“Given the delay in the box office turnaround, particularly for family films, flexibility remains at the heart of our distribution decisions,” said Kareem Daniel, president of Disney’s media and entertainment distribution arm, in a statement about Turning Red.

As the cute main character of Pixar’s upcoming prank, the new normal for Disney movie releases is still changing shape.

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