Marvel’s supersized superhero epic Eternals is officially going to be available to stream on Disney Plus on January 12th, Disney announced today, about two months after it was first released on November 3rd.
Eternals will also be available to stream in IMAX’s Expanded Aspect Ratio format, which Disney Plus started rolling out on other Marvel films, including Iron Man, Avengers: Endgame, and the recently released Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, in November. The January 12th date has been floating around the internet for a few weeks already, but today marks the official confirmation from Disney of the streaming release.
The January release for Eternals is also perfectly placed for Disney to keep Marvel fans from canceling their subscriptions after Hawkeye concludes later in December. Since Disney Plus first started offering original Marvel content in January 2021, there’s only been a single month (May) that lacked a major MCU release on the platform.
Variety reported in September that Disney had planned for at least 45 days of theatrical exclusivity for Eternals and its other late 2021 films, including The Last Duel, West Side Story, and The King’s Man. The animated Encanto, on the other hand, has at least a 30-day guarantee, which could allow Disney to move the family-friendly film to its streaming platform in time for Christmas weekend, although the studio has yet to announce an official streaming date.
Eternals is the latest example of how much faster films are transitioning from a traditional theatrical release to a paid digital and disc release period to subscription streaming in just a matter of weeks, instead of the usual monthslong cycle. It also speaks to how important boosting Disney Plus subscription numbers is to Disney, as a long-term business strategy, one that could indicate that the swift pace of movies from theater to streaming will only continue to accelerate.