Disney announced Friday that upcoming 2021 films “Eternals,” “The Last Duel,” “West Side Story,” “Ron’s Gone Wrong” and “The King’s Man” will get exclusive 45-day theatrical windows before moving to digital platforms.
Meanwhile, the animated musical “Encanto” will play in theaters for 30 days starting Nov. 24, before coming to Disney Plus.
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“The Last Duel” opens on Oct. 15, “Ron’s Gone Wrong” on Oct. 22, “Eternals” on Nov. 5, “West Side Story” on Dec. 10 and “The King’s Man” on Dec. 22.
The decision is a clear win for Marvel Studios’ chief Kevin Feige, who has been vocal both internally and in the press about his desire for Marvel’s feature films to play exclusively in theaters.
“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” Marvel’s first exclusive theatrical release in over two years, has grossed $105.9 million domestically since Wednesday. While that is on the lower end of grosses for MCU features, it also means “Shang-Chi” is already outpacing the theatrical grosses of “Black Widow,” which had grossed $100.7 million at this point in its theatrical run after opening in July day-and-date on Disney Plus Premier Access. That makes “Shang-Chi” one of the best performing theatrical releases of the pandemic era and a practically existential boon for exhibitors in desperate need of some good news.
“Following the tremendous box office success of our summer films which included five of the top eight domestic releases of the year, we are excited to update our theatrical plans for the remainder of 2021,” said Kareem Daniel, Chairman, Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution. “As confidence in moviegoing continues to improve, we look forward to entertaining audiences in theaters, while maintaining the flexibility to give our Disney+ subscribers the gift of “Encanto” this holiday season.”
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