We know that Thor: Love and Thunder is coming to Disney Plus (it's as inevitable as the Asgardian Marvel hero being confused), we just don't know the exact date. Yes, while the film is set for a July 8 release date (we've already got our tickets), its streaming date is very much up in the air, like Mjolnir flying through the sky.
While the age of New Asgard has begun, the age of Disney Plus Premier Access is long over. There is some very good news, though. We've got plenty of reason to believe that we've deciphered the likely release dates. Yes, much like Thor, there are two potential dates that Thor: Love and Thunder, the next upcoming Marvel movie could hit Disney Plus.
Fans who don't want to go to theaters (or simply want to rewatch without forking over a lot of cash) should be excited, too. The most likely Thor 4 Disney Plus release dates are August 24 and September 14, 2022.
But which is the likeliest?
Why Thor 4's Disney Plus release date could be August 24
Lets use our spare Time Stone to jump back to the moments when theaters were starting to re-open in 2021. Back then, we were getting big "day and date" releases for big movies, as Disney Plus Premier Access dropped Black Widow on Disney Plus the same day as in theaters. This, as you may remember, led Scarlett Johansson to sue Disney over breach of contract for an online release, and likely ended Disney Plus Premier Access.
Then, Disney CEO Bob Chapek announced that that Shang-Chi would have a 45-day theatrical exclusivity window. He dubbed this "an interesting experiment." And that phrase served as a catalyst, but possibly not in ways that Chapek intended.
Simu Liu, Shang-Chi himself, tweeted (opens in new tab) "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..." And then Shang-Chi kicked butt at the box office, taking Black Widow's title of top domestic U.S. box office earner for the year (at the time). It would finish in second place, behind only Spider-Man: No Way Home.
We use that 45-day window to begin to extrapolate the earliest likely release date. It means August 22 is the earliest likely Disney Plus arrival. But we don't think that's the date, as that's a Monday — and Disney doesn't use Mondays for big Disney Plus release dates.
We then look to Doctor Strange 2's Disney Plus release date of June 22. It was 47 days after the film's May 6 theatrical release date, and a Wednesday, the day that Disney Plus gets Marvel and Star Wars shows on. That's why August 24, 47 days after the film's July 8 release, is a likely release date (presuming the much-hyped Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness sets a precedent).
Why Thor: Love and Thunder's Disney Plus release date could be September 14
That said, Shang-Chi hit Disney Plus 45 or 47 days after its theatrical release. Up until Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness, Disney was willing to let its movies sit in theaters for a while. If we get a shorter window, as forecasted above, that could stay the same, and signal that Disney really wants to make Disney Plus subscriptions a priority. However, Thor: Love and Thunder could take around 22 more days to get to the streaming service.
That's because Eternals (68 days) and Shang-Chi (70 days) took additional weeks to arrive on Disney Plus. While we would normally argue you should just split the difference, and say it'll take up until Thursday Sept. 15 (69 days later), that's not as likely — as we said, Disney loves Wednesdays for Marvel.
We have no reason to think there's a Netflix-quality cancelation issue plaguing Disney Plus, and if Disney thinks those movies can keep earning in theaters for a longer amount of time, then Wednesday, Sept. 15 is the latest likely Thor 4 release date.
Outloook: Praise Thor that this isn't a Sony movie
A worse fate awaits anyone who wants to get the movies that Marvel co-produces with Sony. Neither Morbius nor Spider-Man: No Way Home are on streaming services yet, and it took 118 days Spidey's latest adventure to reach digital video on demand services. Morbius, which failed to sink its teeth into the box office, took about 46 days to get the kind of digital release where you still need to pay $20 to get it.
But that's besides the point. Thor: 4 should be on Disney Plus either by the end of the summer, or shortly thereafter. And we cannot wait.
But while do have to wait for it, here's what to watch before you see Thor: Love and Thunder.
Next: Beyond Marvel, this is the reason I decided to keep Disney Plus (and it's got nothing to do with Star Wars either).