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Marvel's Eternals will stream 'free' on Disney Plus starting Jan. 12

Eternals is expected to be available to all Disney Plus subscribers at no added cost.

Angelia Jolie stars in Eternals, the light from a magic sword illuminating her face
Marvel's Eternals opened in theaters, and only theaters, when it debuted. 

Marvel's Eternals will start streaming on Disney Plus on Jan. 12, Disney said Friday. It's expected to be available for all subscribers at no added cost. (Some people refer to this as being available "free," but all Disney Plus accounts require a paid subscription.) 

That's much quicker than a Marvel movie would have hit Disney Plus before the pandemic -- but still not quite at fast as it could have been.  

Disney committed Eternals to play in theaters exclusively for at least 45 days, which kicked off Nov. 5. Under the 45-day timeline, Disney could have released Eternals on Disney Plus as early as Dec. 20. But as cinema attendance has rebounded this year, Disney also kept Marvel's Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings in theaters exclusively longer than the 45-day commitment. Shang-Chi was in theaters about 70 days before it hit Disney Plus. 

The Jan. 12 streaming release date for Eternals is about 68 days after its wide release in theaters. 

Still, Eternals' arrival on the streaming service is coming much faster than Disney's theatrical movies would hit the Disney Plus before the pandemic, when they typically took five to eight months to start streaming.

Eternals is expected to be streamable on Disney Plus at no added cost. Earlier in the pandemic, Disney introduced a $30 Premier Access model that allowed subscribers to pay extra to stream a theatrical movie as soon as that film hit theaters. But Disney made no mention of Premier Access in its announcement about Eternals. 

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