Simu Liu plays Shang-Chi in Marvel’s “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”.
Disney said that “Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings” and “Free Guy” will play exclusively in theaters for 45 days.
The decision to release the two films exclusively in theaters is made “in light of recent signs of consumer confidence and attendance,” said CEO Bob Chapek during a call for earnings on Thursday.
The news comes just hours after the company announced that its blockbuster film “Jungle Cruise” will debut in theaters and on Disney + Premier Access on July 30th. Disney has used similar tactics for “Mulan” and “Raya and the Last Dragon” and plans to use it for the debut of upcoming films “Cruella” and “Black Widow”.
Ryan Reynolds’ feature film “Free Guy” is slated for release on August 13, while “Shang-Chi,” a new Marvel film starring Simu Liu, is slated for September 3.
Pandemic restrictions are easing across the country as vaccination rates rise and Covid-19 cases fall. In particular, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday that fully vaccinated people will not need to wear face masks in most situations. This recommendation should help increase public confidence in the return to normal activities and allow states to lift capacity restrictions in cinemas.
“Without a doubt, this is welcome news for theater owners in a world where shorter but more sensible windows are no longer taboo,” said Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at Boxoffice. “Today’s news underscores the benefit of Disney’s case-by-case approach to short-term hybrid releases and long-term fixtures by stabilizing expectations of the studio’s commitment to both the unique audience experience and the financial potential of theatrical exclusivity . “