When could Shang-Chi come to Disney Plus?

When is Shang Chi on Disney Plus?
(Image credit: Marvel)

Everyone wants to know when Shang-Chi is coming to Disney Plus? Yes, like a belle of the ball (look at that box office!) the over-performing movie Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will stop being a theatrical exclusive and be available for online streaming.

The only problem is that our biggest clue — Disney CEO Bob Chapek's own words — give us enough information to know when the film may be available to stream online. Chapek, nor any other Disney source, has not said anything about when it's coming to Disney Plus. But, we'll admit, it would be weird if the film went anywhere but to Disney's own streaming service. 

So, what did Chapek say?

On a Disney earnings call on August 12, Chapek confirmed that Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings would not be following Black Widow's streaming lead. 

Instead of being available in theaters and on Disney Plus Premier Access (for $30 on top of your membership) the same day, it would be a theatrical exclusive. 

Then, Chapek noted that Shang-Chi will have a 45-day window for theatrical exclusivity. Most outlets are assuming that Disney will bring the film to Disney Plus at the end of this window (which is half the length of the normal 90-day theatrical exclusivity window). But Chapek didn't say any of that. It's not a huge leap to make, but it's not confirmed.

shang-chi on Disney Plus

(Image credit: Marvel)

This means Shang-Chi may arrive on Disney Plus as early as Monday, October 18. 

But that's a Monday, which isn't Disney's typical streaming release date for movies. This means Friday, October 22 is also a possible date.

One other thing to note here: we still may have to spend more for Shang-Chi on Disney Plus. If Shang-Chi comes to Disney Plus on either of those dates, we don't know if Disney will put it out for free with the monthly membership, or charge $30 for it — like it normally does with theatrical releases. It all, likely, depends on if Shang-Chi was a successful "experiment" at the box office, to use Chapek's words.

Oh, and about that other part of Bob Chapek's comments, when he said that Shang-Chi's release was "an interesting experiment."

Shang-Chi star Simu Liu apparently didn't take quite kindly to being referred to in this way, tweeting "We are not an experiment. We are the underdog; the underestimated. We are the ceiling-breakers. We are the celebration of culture and joy that will persevere after an embattled year. We are the surprise. I’m fired the f**k up to make history..."

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.