Marvel Studios is coming back to theaters with a vengeance this summer after starting 2021 with overwhelming success through its Disney+ exclusives. Black Widow will start this run in July as a semi-bookend to the Infinity Saga before a new wave of heroes is introduced into the ever-expansive narrative.
The first new franchise coming in 2021 will be Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings as Simu Liu's master of martial arts punches and kicks his way into the action.
As blockbuster movies start coming back to theaters, fans stay on the lookout for their status regarding a theatrical run alongside a potential run on a streaming service. While it's confirmed that Black Widow will arrive via both mediums on July 9, the rest of the MCU's 2021 outings haven't had anything definitively set in that regard.
Today brings a potentially exciting confirmation on that front straight from the top of Disney.
THEATRICAL RUN REVEALED FOR SHANG-CHI
Disney CEO Bob Chapek confirmed during the company’s Q2 FY21 Earnings Call that Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will have an exclusive theatrical run that will last 45 days upon its release. This is a notable reduction from typical exclusive theatrical windows during pre-pandemic days, which were around 90 days.
Disney confirms Ryan Reynolds' Free Guy and Marvel's Shang-Chi will have exclusive theatrical windows of 45 days— Aaron Couch (@AaronCouch) May 13, 2021
THE MCU WORLD STARTING A RETURN TO NORMALCY
While this announcement doesn't definitively mean that daily life is back to normal, Shang-Chi getting an exclusive run in theaters is an exciting sign of things to come.
To clarify, this exclusive release window means that the Walt Disney Company will only be showing Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings in theaters, and only in theaters, for the first 45 days after it debuts on September 3. No plans have been set for a streaming debut on Disney+ or a VOD showing after that time period comes to an end.
With the movie's release still over three and a half months away, the hope is that the theater-going experience will be closer to coming back to how it was before the worldwide pandemic. This seems to be what Marvel and Disney are hoping for with Phase 4's second big-screen adventure, especially with MCU fans anxious for the franchise's big return.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will now debut exclusively in theaters on September 3, where it will stay until October 18.