Disney Confirms Shang-Chi’s Exclusive Theatrical Release

Don’t expect to see Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on Disney+ Premier Access later this year. During a recent earnings call (via The Hollywood Reporter), Disney CEO Bob Chapek confirmed that Marvel’s second Phase Four entry will have an exclusive run on the big screen when it debuts in September. The film will be shown in theaters for 45 days before it hits any streaming service.

This latest move is a pretty significant departure from Disney’s recently-announced plans for Black Widow. Back in March, the studio finally decided to give that film a simultaneous release in theaters and on Premier Access on July 9 after it faced multiple delays due to the pandemic. Disney is also plotting Premier Access releases for some of its other upcoming tentpoles, including Cruella and Jungle Cruise.

Shang-Chi isn’t the only movie that Disney has earmarked for an exclusive theatrical window. 20th Century Studios’ Free Guy is also set to have its own 45-day run in theaters this summer. That movie, which stars Ryan Reynolds, will premiere on August 13.

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Chapek didn’t specify whether Shang-Chi would arrive on Disney+ free of charge after completing its run in theaters. Regardless, his announcement suggests a return to normalcy is finally on the horizon. Now that COVID-19 vaccines are available, movie theaters seem poised to resume their normal business operations by the end of the year. The CDC also announced earlier today that vaccinated people can now go maskless at most indoor locations, so there’s definitely a light at the end of the tunnel.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings hits screens on September 3.

Are you excited to watch the movie in theaters later this year? Tell us what you think in the comment section below!

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