Disney Plus: What to know about Encanto, Hawkeye, Eternals and everything else Disney Plus is packed with movies, shows and originals. Here are the main things to know about streaming Encanto, Eternals, Hawkeye and the rest.
Disney Plus stood out as a breakaway success among a wave of new streaming services, thanks in part to its large library of shows and movies and a widening pipeline of originals and exclusives. But even though Disney Plus streamed some big-screen movies
the same day they hit theaters earlier this year, that's not the case anymore for movies like Encanto or Marvel's Eternals.
Here are the important details to know about Disney Plus.
When will Hawkeye premiere on Disney Plus? What's its release time?
Hawkeye -- Disney Plus' latest live-action Marvel series in the vein of Loki, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and WandaVision -- will premiere with two episodes early Wednesday morning at midnight PT (3 a.m. ET).
The Hawkeye series stars Jeremy Renner, reprising his role from the movies. The show adds the character Kate Bishop, who in the comics becomes a second Hawkeye; Hailee Steinfeld is playing the role. The series will also introduce the character of Echo to
the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a preamble to Echo getting her own Disney Plus spinoff series down the line.
Will Encanto stream on Disney Plus when it hits theaters?
No, Encanto is being released exclusively in theaters starting Wednesday.
But Encanto is set to become available to stream on Disney Plus at no added cost on Dec. 24 at 12:01 a.m. PT (3:01 a.m. ET).
That's much faster than Disney's theatrical releases hit the streaming service before the pandemic, when it typically took five to eight months. And it's faster than other recent Disney movies landed on Disney Plus after their theatrical releases: Shang-
Chi, for example, was in cinemas for about 70 days before its Disney Plus release.
But it's still longer than some other, earlier Disney movies, like Pixar's Luca, which went straight to Disney Plus.
When will Marvel's Eternals stream on Disney Plus?
Eternals -- the star-packed Marvel movie next up in the superhero franchise -- hit theaters exclusively on Nov. 5. Eternals doesn't have a confirmed streaming release date yet, but here's what we do know, along with some educated guesses about what to
Disney is planning for Eternals to be in theaters exclusively for at least 45 days after its theatrical release.
Disney Plus will be the only service that'll (eventually) stream Eternals. Disney's CEO has said Eternals will come to Disney Plus after the 45-day theatrical exclusive, but he didn't specify if it would be available to stream immediately when that 45-day window elapses.
If Eternals does land on Disney Plus immediately after the 45 days in theaters, that would time its streaming release to be on or around Dec. 20.
But it may be much later than that. Shang-Chi was in theaters for about 70 days before its Disney Plus release.
If (a big "if") Eternals follows the playbook of Shang-Chi, then it would arrive on Disney Plus about 70 days after its theatrical release, which would time Eternals' Disney Plus availability around Jan. 11.
Then again, it could take many months for Eternals to start streaming. Before the pandemic, new Disney movies would make their way to Disney Plus about five to eight months after they premiered in theaters. If Disney returns to that norm, it's possible
Disney Plus subscribers could be waiting until summer 2022 to start streaming Eternals.
It's more likely Eternals will become available to stream on Disney Plus much earlier than the pre-pandemic norm. Unfortunately, we won't know for certain until Disney confirms its streaming plan for Eternals.
What's the next Marvel series on Disney Plus?
We don't know exactly which will come first, but Marvel has a parade of shows slated for Disney Plus.
Ms. Marvel, which introduces a new character into the MCU, was originally planned to come out this year, but Disney has pushed back Ms. Marvel until, at the earliest, July 2022. In the comic books, the Ms. Marvel character was first incarnated by Carol
Danvers, who later took up the identity of Captain Marvel. Then the name was most recently passed on to Kamala Khan, a teen protege of Danvers who was Marvel's first Muslim character to headline her own comic book and will soon be the center of the
Disney Plus series.
In mid-November, Marvel also noted that two other series -- She-Hulk and Moon Knight -- would be released in 2022.
Shows that were described as "coming soon" (which really means you'll probably be waiting awhile for most of these) included Secret Invasion, Echo, Ironheart, Agatha: House of Harkness, Armor Wars, Marvel Zombies, Spider-Man: Freshman Year, X-Men '97, I
Am Groot, The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, Loki season 2 and Marvel What If season 2.
Will Disney keep releasing its new movies in theaters and on Disney Plus at the same time?
We don't know, but for the time being, no future theatrical movies are planned to get same-day releases on Disney Plus.
During the pandemic, Disney Plus introduced this Premier Access model to sell streaming access to new, big-screen movies. It was a way to get the movie out to wider audiences while cinemas were shuttered or open at a fraction of their normal capacity. So
far, Disney has released several movies this way: the live-action remake of Mulan, animated fantasy Raya and the Last Dragon, live-action prequel Cruella, Marvel's Black Widow and live-action adventure Jungle Cruise.
But as restrictions have eased, Disney reintroduced theatrical-only windows starting in August. Free Guy, a sci-fi comedy from Disney's 20th Century Studios, was released in theaters exclusively for 45 days in mid-August. Then Marvel's Shang-Chi and the
Legend of the Ten Rings was released Sept. 3 in theaters exclusively for at least 45 days as well. Though Free Guy isn't expected to stream anytime soon on Disney Plus, Shang-Chi is coming to Disney Plus on Friday -- that's about 70 days after its
theatrical release, even though Disney reserved only 45 days as a theatrical exclusive.
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Typically, before the pandemic, new Disney movies would make their way to Disney Plus about five to eight months after they premiered in theaters.
But for some of its upcoming smaller movies, Disney plans to simply switch films originally planned for theaters to be Disney Plus originals instead, skipping theaters entirely. This strategy mostly applies to midbudget movies, including Pinocchio, a
live-action remake starring Tom Hanks; its Peter Pan reboot; Disenchanted, a sequel to Enchanted that'll have Amy Adams reprise her princess role; and Sister Act 3, reviving the comedy franchise about nuns.
Does Disney Plus have a free trial? Or other free offers?
Disney Plus no longer offers a standard free trial. It eliminated its one-week free trial program in June 2020, shortly before the premiere of Hamilton.
Right now until Sunday, Disney Plus is offering one month of the service for $2, essentially a $6 value.
But other deals may unlock Disney Plus free (or at no added cost).
For example, Disney and Verizon have a deal that gives a free year of Disney Plus starting on launch day to all the carrier's customers with a 4G LTE or 5G unlimited account, as well as new customers of Verizon's Fios and 5G home internet services. Those
who prepurchased a Disney Plus plan such as the now-expired three-year discounted subscription deal can stack their one free year on top of it, according to a Verizon FAQ.
Way back in 2017, Disney's then-CEO Bob Iger noted that Disney Plus pricing at launch would reflect the "fact that it will have substantially less volume" than prime competitor Netflix. As the months and years pass, Disney Plus is accumulating a bigger
catalog of exclusives and originals. As that happens, it's widely expected the company will continue pushing its price higher.
How much is the bundle with Hulu and ESPN Plus?
The company also offers a bundle that combines Disney Plus with Hulu (with ads) and ESPN Plus, offering a discount if you subscribe to all three of those streaming services for $14 a month. Put another way, you can subscribe to all three of Disney's
main streaming services for the same price as a standard Netflix subscription.
A higher tier of the bundle removes the ads from Hulu. The package with ad-free Hulu, Disney Plus and ESPN Plus will cost $6 more than the basic bundle -- equivalent to the same cost increase you'd pay to step up from ad-supported Hulu to ad-free Hulu as
stand-alone services. The three-way bundle with ad-free-Hulu bundle is $20 a month.
Hulu's prices for its standalone on-demand streaming tiers went up $1 on Oct. 8, but the price of the Disney Plus/Hulu/ESPN Plus bundle didn't change.
Amazon Music Unlimited is also offering a deal for new subscribers to its streaming music service to unlock up to six months of Disney Plus free.
How much does Disney Plus cost?
In the US, the Disney Plus service costs $8 a month, or $80 a year. The standalone Disney Plus service costs comparable amounts in other countries in their local currencies.
Disney Plus' US price deeply undercuts the $14 monthly fee for Netflix's most popular plan in the US, which lets you stream to two different devices simultaneously in high definition. But Disney Plus allows all subscribers to stream to four devices and
access 4K content at no extra cost -- features Netflix charges $18 a month to unlock its premium tier.