Report: Disney has decided to give Eternals an exclusive theatrical release

By Stephen Ippolito | September 10th, 2021

It looks like the box-office success of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is continuing to pay dividends. In her What I’m Hearing… newsletter, former Hollywood Reporter editor Matthew Belloni says that Disney CEO Bob Chapek and distribution chief Kareem Daniels have decided to give Marvel Studios’ next film, Eternals, a theaters exclusive release in November.

According to Belloni, the two Disney executives came to a decision shortly after their latest film, Shang-Chi, overperformed at the box office during Labor Day weekend.

“After Disney C.E.O. Bob Chapek basically dared Shang-Chi to perform in theaters over Labor Day weekend, and it did $94 million domestically, he couldn’t possibly put Eternals on Disney+ day-and-date, right? I’m told Chapek and distribution chief Kareem Daniels have made their decision on the November movie’s fate, and it will indeed receive an exclusive theatrical run.”

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In July, the studio released Black Widow simultaneously in theaters and on Disney+ Premier Access because of the pandemic. While it did bring in over $125M in streaming purchases, it did also cause some drama with its star Scarlett Johansson, who is now suing the company over a “breach of contract.” With Shang-Chi, a simultaneous release wasn’t an option because of “distribution agreements”.

This isn’t the first time Shang-Chi’s success has affected a studio’s decision. Earlier this week, Sony Pictures moved up the release date for their Venom: Let There Be Carnage film by two weeks (October 1).

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As for the Eternals, the Chloé Zhao directed film arrives in theaters on November 5th.

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