Editor's Note: Eternals' Disney Plus release date is January 12, 2022. This article, as originally written, follows.
Eternals' Disney Plus release date is as confusing a topic as anything about Chloe Zhao's upcoming epic film. While Disney was willing to give us Black Widow on Disney Plus on the same day as it his theaters, that same affordance wasn't give to Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings — nor will it be given to Eternals.
We're not sure if this is related to what happened when Scarlett Johansson sued Disney over Black Widow's online release (the two parties have settled (opens in new tab)), or if it's just that Shang-Chi's box office success gave Disney all the reason it needs. So, yes, It appears that Eternals is likely skipping the Disney Plus Premier Access release, as the movie is almost out and we've yet to hear a peep about that.
That said, how much longer do you have to wait to stream Eternals (the next upcoming Marvel movie) at home? And we're talking legally, not via some shady download. Also, those looking for something, anything, new will be happy to hear that we know when Encanto is coming to Disney Plus.
When will Eternals get to Disney Plus?
As noted above, Disney Plus announced that Eternals is coming on Jan. 12, 2022. This article, as originally written, follows.
So, we now turn to the precedent set by Shang-Chi as a way to hypothesize what comes next. Disney released the movie in theaters on September 3, and many expected it to arrive on Disney Plus after the 45-day theatrical release window was over.
Except that didn't happen. Instead of the October 18 release many had thought would happen, Shang-Chi was given a November 12 date, making it a banner title in Disney's Disney Plus Day event.
From all of this, we can draw a few conclusions.
1. Disney Plus could get Eternals as early as Monday, December 20. That's the 45-days after-date, making it a possible, but not exactly sure thing. In fact, there's good reason to think it will happen later.
2. Disney Plus is more likely to drop Eternals on Friday, December 24. Disney's current movie release date history suggests that Friday is its favorite day of the week for movie releases.
And Christmas Eve? Kind of an ideal night to do it, don't you think? It seems too perfect, for Disney to let us open a present that evening. Also, Disney doesn't have a movie coming out on that day for it to compete with (The King's Man from 20th Century Studios drops on the 22nd).
3. Eternals may not arrive on Disney Plus this year. Disney wasn't in a rush to get Shang-Chi out around that 45-day date. Instead, it's waiting almost an extra month, presumably because of its want to make Disney Plus day as big as possible. So, if Disney has another date on its calendar that makes more sense? Say, February 18, the Friday after The Book of Boba Fett (its next big series), is over? That could also happen.
Why is Eternals not a Disney Plus Premier Access movie?
News first broke from former The Hollywood Reporter editor Matt Belloni, who wrote in his newsletter (opens in new tab) that "I'm told [Disney CEO Bob 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."
This probably isn't just because of Shang-Chi's box office success. Deadline (opens in new tab) broke the news that the early demand for Eternals was above everything seen so far this year. The article notes that the film's early presale ticket sales during the first 24 hours were higher than what Shang-Chi (by 86%) and Black Widow (by 30%) in the same amount of time. Eternals had the biggest day-one pre-sale ticket sales of the year for AMC as well.
So, with numbers like that, Disney doesn't need to even go near Disney Plus yet, to make Eternals a success. Especially when families would spend less on a $30 Disney Plus Premier Access purchase than they would on 3 or more movie tickets.