Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings isn’t releasing on Disney Plus Premier Access — here’s why

shang chi and the legend of the ten rings
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

September 3 is the day Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings hits theaters, marking the second big screen Marvel release of this year. The movie stars Simu Liu as the titular star, and marks the first MCU movie to feature an Asian hero as its lead.

But after Black Widow launched on Disney Plus Premier Access the same day it hit theaters, you may be wondering whether Shang-Chi will be available on Disney Plus as well.

The short answer is no, Shang-Chi will not debut on Disney Plus Premier Access on September 3. Despite launching Black Widow on Premier Access the same day it hit theaters, Disney has decided that Shang-Chi will be exclusively showing in theaters at first.

So if you want to go and see the movie, and avoid any potential spoilers that are to be had, you’ll have to go and buy a theater ticket.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing, and may work out cheaper than spending $30 on a movie rental. However those concerned about COVID-19, and the Delta variant, may want to sit this one out.

It’s not all bad news where streaming is concerned. Typically, movies hit digital channels at least 90 days after they arrive in theaters. Third party streaming services can take even longer, and sometimes can take five to eight months to arrive. According to Disney CEO Bob Chapek, that may not be the case with Shang-Chi.

According to Chapek, Shang-Chi is going to be an “interesting experiment”, because it may arrive on Disney Plus just 45 days after its theatrical debut. Whether this would also see the movie come to digital storefronts, like Amazon Prime Video or iTunes, isn’t entirely clear. 

Likewise, it's also unclear whether Shang-Chi would be free to watch when it comes to Disney Plus, or if there will be a period where users will have to pay through the Premier Access service.

In any case, this situation means Shang-Chi will be on Disney Plus as early as October 18. So you can skip the theater if you really want, and only wait six weeks, rather than three whole months, for Disney to make the movie available at home.

So if you don’t want to risk sharing the movie theater with people who aren’t vaccinated, or aren’t wearing masks, then you don’t have to. 

Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.