Ryan Reynold's Free Guy And Marvel's Shang-Chi Will Have 45-Day Exclusive Theatrical Window

It's unclear where the two movies will head to after that window though.


The days of the 90-day exclusive theatrical window are coming to an end, as CEO Bob Chapek announced during the Disney second quarter 2021 financial results call that Marvel's Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and the Ryan Reynold's comedy Free Guy will have a 45-day exclusive theatrical window.

Much like Warner Bros. deal with Cineworld, these two high-profile movies under the Walt Disney Company umbrella will be exclusive to theaters for 45 days, but it is unclear where the films will head after that. Traditionally, theatrical releases had a 90-day exclusive window, something many movie studios have moved away from during the pandemic.

These films could jump right to streaming services with Shang-Chi landing on Disney+--possibly under Premier Access--and Free Guy on Hulu. Or both films could land on a transactional video on demand (TVOD) service like Google Play, Vudu, or more. As of this writing, the post-theatrical release plan is unknown.

Marvel's Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings follows the titular character--played by Simu Liu--a man living in San Francisco with a dark family history. His father is a powerful villain who wants Shang-Chi to join the criminal life, which he rejects. The film also stars Awkwafina and is directed by Destin Daniel Cretton. The first trailer for the MCU movie arrived in April, and it releases in theaters on September 3.

Free Guy stars Ryan Reynolds as an NPC in a violent video game who becomes aware of the world around him and breaks free of his NPC life. The movie is directed by Shawn Levy (Stranger Things), and the first trailer arrived in December 2019. Because of the pandemic, it was pushed back numerous times, and will finally arrive in theaters on August 13.

Over the past year, Disney+ grew its subscriber base from 33.5 million to 103.6 million. While Disney Parks saw losses during the COVID-19 pandemic, the parent company's streaming services all saw growth during this time. Additionally, Disney+ continued to pump out original TV shows like Season 2 of The Mandalorian, WandaVision, and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, along with movies like Pixar's Soul.

Disney's upcoming movie Jungle Cruise, which stars Dwayne Johnson, was recently revealed to be getting a Disney+ Premier Access release simultaneously with a theatrical one.

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