Encanto is not yet streaming on Disney Plus (and neither is Marvel’s Eternals)

The Encanto character Mirabel stands and smiles at children in her village.

Disney

Encanto, a Disney-animated fantasy with music by Lin-Manuel Miranda, hit theaters Wednesday. And Marvel’s Eternals has been in theaters since November 5th.

But unlike other movies Disney released earlier in the pandemic, Disney did not make Encanto either Eternal available to stream on Disney Plus while they are in the cinema. While the return to a theatrically-exclusive strategy has nurtured the box office in some other films, such as Shang-Chi and the legend of the ten rings, these are shrinking opportunities for fans who have become accustomed to greater choices in how, where and when they watch new movies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Is Encanto streaming on Disney Plus?

No, Encanto will be released exclusively in theaters for a period of one month from Wednesday.

When is Encanto’s release date for streaming?

Encanto is ready to be available for streaming on Disney Plus at no extra cost early in the morning of December 24 at midnight PT / 3am ET.

It’s much faster than Disney’s cinema releases hit the streaming service before the pandemic, where it typically took five to eight months. And it’s faster than other recent Disney movies landed on Disney Plus after their theatrical releases: Shang-Chi, for example, was in theaters for about 70 days before the Disney Plus release.

But it’s still longer than it was for some other previous Disney movies, like Pixar’s Luca, which went straight to Disney Plus.

When will Marvel’s Eternals stream on Disney Plus?

Eternals is coming exclusively to the cinema on November 5th. It does not yet have a confirmed release date for streaming, but here’s what we know, along with some qualified guesses as to what to expect:

  • Disney plans to have Eternals exclusively in theaters for at least 45 days after its theatrical release.
  • Disney Plus will be the only service that will (ultimately) stream Eternals.
  • Disney’s CEO has said Eternals is coming to Disney Plus after the 45-day exclusive theater show, but he did not specify whether it would be available to stream immediately when the 45-day window expires.
  • If Eternals lands on Disney Plus immediately after 45 days in theaters, the streaming release will be on or around December 20th.
  • But it can be much later than that. Shang-Chi was in theaters for about 70 days before the Disney Plus release.
  • If (a big “if”) Eternals follows Shang-Chi’s playbook, it would arrive at Disney Plus about 70 days after its theatrical release, which would time Eternals’ Disney Plus availability around January 11th.

Then again, it can take many months for Eternals to start streaming. Before the pandemic, new Disney movies would be added Disney Plus about five to eight months after they premiered in theaters. If Disney returns to that norm, it’s possible that Disney Plus subscribers can wait until the summer of 2022 to start streaming Eternals.

It’s more likely that Eternals will be available for streaming on Disney Plus much earlier than the pre-pandemic norm. Unfortunately, we do not know for sure until Disney confirms its streaming plan for Eternals.

Why does Disney no longer release movies on Disney Plus on the same day as the cinemas?

Disney is making some seriously big budget movies. And for these films to be profitable in Hollywood’s current economy, they must be huge 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.

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.

But as vaccinations expanded, Disney reintroduced theatrical exclusives – albeit with a much shorter duration 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, before finally being put on Disney Plus at no extra cost on November 12.

Shang-Chi was a magnificent box office that currently sits at the top of the US ticket sales rankings in 2021. It was the first Marvel Cinematic Universe movie to be released in theaters only since Sony’s Spider-Man: Far From Home was released in July 2019. Shang-Chi’s box office performance did not keep pace with a pre-pandemic MCU release like Far From Home: In the first four weeks of Spider-Man’s 2019 release, it had drawn more than $ 340 million. the domestic box office, while Shang-Chi’s first four weeks just barely passed $ 200 million. But Shang-Chi has still done better at the box office than several pre-pandemic Marvel movies, like 2015’s Ant-Man – especially considering that the demand for theaters is still depressed compared to pre-pandemic times.

Shang-Chi proved, in essence, that – at least for a movie belonging to the world’s largest blockbuster movie franchise – fans will reappear in theaters if they can not stream it at home. That’s one of the main reasons why Disney has gone back to theatrical exclusives for its greatest films.

But some of Disney’s upcoming smaller movies will simply switch 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.

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