Eternals arriving at Disney Plus will finally stream ‘for free’ late tonight

Angelina Jolie as Then and Lauren Ridloff as Makkari stand on a windswept beach

Eternals premiered exclusively in theaters on November 5th.

Marvel Studios

Marvels Eternal The release date for streaming on Disney Plus has finally arrived and the movie can be streamed late tonight at no extra cost to subscribers. But just as life after the pandemic has remained frustratingly out of reach, it’s just as hard to keep track of where and when Disney is releasing all of its movies now.

Disney Plus was only up and running for about four months when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. In the nearly two years that have passed since then, Disney rethought the service as an outlet to release big, new movies while cinemas were shut down or lame. But after all of its movies have premiered exclusively in theaters since August, Disney said Friday that Pixar’s next feature film, Turning Red, will skip the cinemas for streaming exclusively on Disney Plus from 11 March. In countries where Disney Plus is not in operation (like China, the largest cinema movie market in the world), the movie is scheduled to premiere 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 they hit Disney Plus has varied. This return to a theatrically exclusive strategy helped boost the box office’s performance for these films, but it’s shrinking opportunities for fans who have become accustomed to greater choices in how, where and when they watch new films during COVID-19. pandemic.

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

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

Like Shang-Chi, Eternals arrives at Disney Plus much later in its release cycle than other Disney movies over the past year. Wednesday’s release date for streaming Eternals is about 68 days after its wide release in theaters.

While this timeline for streaming releases is faster than the normal pre-pandemic, where it would typically have taken five to eight months for a movie to reach Disney Plus, Eternals still had an exclusive movie period almost as long as some lasted before the pandemic shook everything up. Eternals was exclusively in theaters for about 68 days; the pre-pandemic norm for theatrical exclusive was about 75 to 90 days.

The difference now: Disney is pretty much skipping Disney Plus, so it’s first in line after the cinemas. In the past, formats like online rentals, Blu-ray and DVD would be the first options for home viewing after a movie cinema screening, and the Disney Plus release date would follow months later. From early Wednesday, Eternals arrives at Disney Plus at no extra cost the same day that the movie becomes available for rent online on all the major digital platforms like 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 extra cost to all subscribers on March 11th.

In all the countries where Disney Plus operates, Turning Red pretty much skips cinemas. In all countries where Disney Plus has not been launched, the company will release the film in theaters, but it has not yet announced when.

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

But Disney has not released a movie directly to Disney Plus since Jungle Cruise in July, and even then, Jungle Cruise was only available for streaming by paying an additional $ 30 fee through its Premier Access model.

Can I stream Encanto ‘for free’ on Disney Plus?

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

It’s a longer wait than on some other Disney movies released earlier in the pandemic. As mentioned above, for example, Pixar’s Soul and Luca went directly to Disney Plus.

But it’s much faster than Disney’s movie releases hit the streaming service before the pandemic. Pre-pandemic typically took five to eight months for a movie to reach Disney Plus after it hit theaters. And it’s faster than even Eternals and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which was in theaters for about 68 and 70 days, respectively. Encanto arrived at Disney Plus after 30 days.

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

Turning Red goes directly to streaming. Encanto 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 happens?

When the pandemic first hit, Disney made a big change in its movie publishing practices. As cinemas closed or cut back on capacity, Disney Plus became a way to bring new movies out to a wider audience, especially as the stock of delayed movies grew.

Some Disney movies – typically mid-budget live-action movies and Pixar movies like Luca and Soul – completely skipped theaters and could be streamed 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 additional fee. Disney Plus members could stream brand new movies at home for $ 30 on top of their subscription price. Disney has released five movies with this Premier Access capability, most notably Marvel’s Black Widow in July.

As vaccinations expanded, Disney reintroduced theater exclusives – but with a shorter commitment to staying exclusively in theaters 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 suit and hit theaters (and theaters only) on September 3, also with a 45-day commitment.

But with theater-goers flocking to these films, Disney extended their theater-exclusive periods beyond 45 days. Shang-Chi was exclusively in the cinemas for about 70 days, and almost came back to the pre-pandemic norm that only kept movies in the cinemas for about 75 to 90 days.

Shang-Chi was a magnificent ticket. Shang-Chi’s box office performance did not keep pace 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 release in 2019, it brought in more than $ 340 million into the domestic box office, while Shang-Chi’s first four weeks just barely passed $ 200 million. But Shang-Chi still did better at the box office than several pre-pandemic Marvel movies, such as the 2015 Ant-Man.

Shang-Chi basically proved that – for a movie that belongs to the world’s largest blockbuster movie franchise – fans will reappear in cinemas if they can not stream it at home. That’s one of the main reasons why Disney moved back to theatrical exclusives for its biggest movies.

And Disney is making some seriously big budget movies. For these films to be profitable in Hollywood’s current economy, they must be box office successes. Streaming movies the same day they arrive at the cinema is clearly in the interests of consumers and fans, giving them the greatest choice of how and when they want to watch movies. But streaming the same day takes a bite out of the box office performance. Lately, movies like Shang-Chi and Spider-Man: No Way Home have proven that big franchise movies can pack the cinemas again.

But family film, Pixar’s specialty, has by comparison struggled with theater participation. Compared to other adult moviegoers, parents can be more tedious in bringing their teens into crowded cinemas, while coronavirus continues to circulate and infections increase.

Putting Pixar movies directly on Disney Plus is at its core a strategy to both lure more subscribers in and keep those it has. Kareem Daniel, the Disney chief in charge of distribution calls like this, noted in the Turning Red announcement that both Soul and Luca were “enthusiastically embraced” by Disney Plus subscribers when they went straight to the service.

And by sending three Pixar movies directly to Disney Plus, Disney may also protect Pixar’s pristine reputation from critical and Box office successes, according to some experts: If Disney does not put Pixar movies in theaters, it may not get a disappointing theatrical performance.

Some of Disney’s upcoming smaller movies have already been switched to being Disney Plus originals instead, the cinemas skip quite. This strategy applies to most mid-budget films, including Pinocchio, a live-action remake starring Tom Hanks; and Peter Pan restarts; Disenchanted, a sequel to Enchanted that makes Amy Adams repeat her princess role; and Sister Act 3, which revives the comedy series about nuns.

But unlike them, Pixar’s Turning Red had been slated for theatrical release until Friday. The film was on Disney’s calendar for a March 11 release in theaters for more than a year.

“Given the delayed recovery of the box office, especially for family movies, flexibility remains at the heart of our distribution decisions,” said Kareem Daniel, chairman of Disney’s Media and Entertainment Distribution Department, in a statement on Turning Red.

Like the cute protagonist in Pixar’s next tumult, the new normal for Disney movie releases is still changing form.

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