Eternal and all remaining 2021 films from Disney are confirmed to receive exclusive theatrical releases. The issue of theatrical-only releases for most films was not a major topic of discussion until 2020 when COVID-19 closed theaters. This forced Hollywood to adapt as theaters were closed or had limited attendance. It led to the rise of video-on-demand releases and titles debuting on a streaming service on the same day as the theatrical release.
Warner Bros. boldly announced that its entire 2021 roster would debut on HBO Max and in theaters simultaneously, while other studios chose to examine each film on a case-by-case basis. Disney did the latter and has experimented with multiple types of releases over the past year and a half. Mulan was the first title to debut exclusively on Disney + through Premier Access nationwide, while Cruella and Black widow went up to the Disney + paid tier the same day they were released in theaters. Disney also chose to send Soul and Luca directly to Disney + at no surcharge. It was only recently with Free boy and Shang-Chi and the legend of the ten rings that Disney committed to exclusive 45-day theatrical release windows.
Disney has now confirmed that the studio’s six remaining 2021 films will receive exclusive theatrical releases. This includes The last duel (10/15), Ron was wrong (10/22), Eternal (5/11), Charm (11/24), West Side Story (12/10) and King’s man (12/22). Each of these films will be screened exclusively in theaters for 45 days, except Charm, which received a 30-day window for it to launch on Disney + on Christmas Eve.
Disney’s commitment to theatrical-only releases for the remaining 2021 films comes on the heels of a great summer for the studio. Black widow, Cruella, and Jungle cruise each performed well at the box office and made millions of dollars more thanks to Disney +. But, it was the recent performances of Shang-Chi and the legend of the ten rings and Free boy which seemed to have helped Disney a lot in making this decision. Both films exceeded box office expectations and that can be attributed to audiences only having the option of seeing them in theaters at this time.
Disney’s latest announcement could also tell what the future holds for its movies. Most Disney movies should go straight to Disney + once the 45-day exclusivity window has passed, but some of the 20th-century productions could go to rival streaming services or land on Hulu if they’re older. This is also a big sign that Disney will commit to releasing the majority of its films exclusively in theaters in 2022 and beyond. While the studio will continue to make shows and movies strictly for Disney +, those interested in watching any of the DisneyThe remaining 2021 titles will have to either make it to theaters or wait for them to be available elsewhere.
MORE: What the 2021 Movie Release List Looks Now
- The Last Duel (2021)Release Date: Oct 15, 2021
- Ron was wrong (2021)Release Date: Oct 22, 2021
- Eternals (2021)Release Date: Nov 05, 2021
- Charm (2021)Release Date: Nov 24, 2021
- West Side Story (2021)Release Date: Dec 10, 2021
- The King’s Man (2021)Release Date: Dec 22, 2021
New images from Eternals highlight the team’s superhero and modern-day costumes
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