Disney Boss Bob Chapek Explains Shang-Chi’s Risky Release Strategy

Disney CEO Bob Chapek details the reasons behind Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings' theatrical release strategy.

Disney CEO Bob Chapek details the reasons behind Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings‘ theatrical release strategy.

With the back half of 2021 officially upon us, Marvel Studios is set to deliver an insane number of new debuts with material coming nearly every week for the rest of the year. Following the runs for three Disney+ shows and Black Widow, the MCU is looking towards some major expansion with dozens of new characters coming to the mix over the next five months.

This began with the debut episode of the MCU’s first fully-animated show in What If…?, which told the story of an alternate reality in which Peggy Carter took Steve Rogers’ place as the superhero Captain Carter. This precedes the release of one more Disney+ outing in Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye and three major movies arriving before 2021 comes to a close.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings Simu Liu

The next of those films to arrive in theaters is set to be Simu Liu’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which will be the MCU’s first theatrical exclusive since 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home. Even with the world health situation still having an effect on blockbusters like this, Disney is still planning to keep this movie only in theaters rather than having a dual streaming release as Black Widow did.

Disney CEO Bob Chapek On Shang-Chi’s Release

Bob Chapek Disney Shang-Chi

During Disney’s Q3 Investor Call, Disney CEO Bob Chapek revealed that the company still intends to have Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings release exclusively in theaters rather than come onto Disney+ at the same time. He made it clear that the company is trying to “put a stake in the ground” and bring this movie into play to help with the current situation:

“At some point, we have to put a stake in the ground, and say, Shang-Chi, that’s a title we’re going to put into the marketplace, or Free Guy, that’s a title we’re going to put into the marketplace.”

Chapek continued to explain how this will be a new experiment for the company with this movie only having a 45-day release window in theaters before going to Disney+. While having intentions to release the movie with a healthier environment, the contracts drawn up for the movie made last-minute changes nearly impossible:

“On Shang-Chi, we think it’s actually going to be an interesting experiment for us because it’s got only a 45-day window for us, so the prospect of being able to take a Marvel title to the service after going theatrical for 45 days will be yet another data point to inform our actions going forward on our titles. And again, when we planned Shang-Chi, that title was planned on being in a much more healthy theatrical environment, and at this point, unfortunately, due to distribution agreements that we have and due to the practicality of making last-minute changes, it wouldn’t be possible.”

Even with the public health crisis still affecting moviegoers worldwide, it seems that Disney is intent on trying to have Shang-Chi be one of the forces to help keep the theatrical experience alive. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige was intent on the studio’s theatrical releases remain on the big screen, and it’s surely even more the case now after the Black Widow fiasco.


It’s also particularly exciting considering this is Marvel’s first new leading character of Phase 4 – one who Simu Liu has shown boundless enthusiasm to bring to the big screen. Entering the world of martial arts with small looks back into the Infinity Saga along the way, this movie has a chance to be a big winner for Marvel, especially when fans see it come to life the right way in theaters.

Shang-Chi Poster Simu Liu

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will debut in theaters on September 3, 2021. What do you think of the Disney and Marvel’s release strategy? Let us know in the comment section or over on our social media!


Source: The Direct


Picture of Richard Nebens

Richard Nebens

I specialize in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for the Illuminerdi; exclusives, news, and reviews. I also touch on subjects all across the movie universe and love being a part of the movie news world!