Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, the latest Marvel Cinematic Universe feature, is out today, but because of the shifting grounds on which we all live, not all MCU fans are clear on where and how to watch the martial arts superhero flick. While MCU’s previous feature film, Black Widow, got a dual release in both theaters and via Disney+ Premier Access, Disney is forgoing that strategy (which really backfired) with Shang-Chi, and instead following a traditional theatrical-only release for the superhero film starring Simu Liu, Awkwafina, and Tony Leung. Here’s everything you need to know…
Where to Watch Shang-Chi
That’s right, folks. Right now, if you want to watch Shang-Chi, then you’re going to have to do it in theaters—an understandably dicey prospect for many during a global pandemic. Still, Disney is taking a chance on Shang-Chi, giving the film a wide theatrical release in the U.S. and internationally. Tickets are available to purchase here.
Last month (via Deadline), Disney CEO Bob Chapek called the theatrical release for Shang-Chi “an interesting experiment,” adding that it will be “another data point” for the studio as it tries to come up with a commercially successful model for big-budget feature film releases during the COVID-19 era. However Shang-Chi performs at the box office—also factoring in the ever-shifting state and national mandates around social distancing and venue capacity—will inform how Disney handles future releases, including other upcoming MCU Phase 4 blockbusters like The Eternals and Spider-Man: No Way Home, both set to come out before the end of the year.
Shang-Chi Disney+ Release Date Details
Of course, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will eventually make its way to Disney+. Right now, Disney has a planned 45-day theatrical release run (shorter than the traditional 90-day window) for the film, which means it should hit Disney+ in mid-October. If the box office is doing poorly, which is not exactly unlikely given the global pandemic, Disney could choose to change that plan. But, right now, look for Shang-Chi on Disney+ on October 17, 2021.
While we know Shang-Chi will come to Disney’s +, it’s unclear if it will be available for all subscribers or if MCU fans will have to pay an additional fee (usually $30) using the “Premier Access” model—Disney could choose to make Shang-Chi a “Premier Access” film for the rest of that traditional 90-day window. However, given the hubbub caused by the initial introduction of “Premier Access” around Mulan‘s release, which happened solely on Disney+, my money would be on Shang-Chi going straight to basic Disney+ access.