Marvel's Eternals may not have been a hit with critics, but Chloé Zhao's mythically charged epic that ended up being a departure from the typical Marvel Cinematic Universe fare is far from a bomb. Coming in at the lower end of MCU films, it still earned a respectable amount at the box office especially with the pandemic going on, and soon the Eternals will pop up on Disney+ as well.
Via Streaming Guider, affiliated with Streamwijzer as it is known in its native Netherlands, sources from within Disney have confirmed to the outlet that Eternals will debut on Disney+, the media giant's home grown streaming platform, on the 12th of January, 2022.
This date seems plausible, as we knew that the theatre exclusivity period for Marvel's Eternals was going to be a minimum of 45 days and that the film premiered on the 5th of November. If anything, we're surprised that Disney isn't pushing it to its streaming platform sooner considering how hot the company is on boosting its user base, but they might be playing things safe in the wake of the whole Black Widow lawsuit.
The streaming debut may be what turns the movie's reputation around - while critics have widely panned Marvel's Eternals, the movie has also worked up the widest critic-audience score gap on Rotten Tomatoes. While the professional reviewers' opinions are aggregated at 48%, the audience score is at 78% after a recent drop from the widely reported 86%.
This discrepancy can be for a multitude of reasons - it is hardly a novel idea that the average moviegoer might be looking for different things in entertainment than a professional critic, especially if they happen to be Marvel fans. However, on the flip side many have proposed that Marvel's Eternals experienced a positive review-bombing from Marvel fans who thought the critic score to be unfair.
Additionally, Marvel's Eternals had some turbulence around its release. Not only was the movie denied a release in China due to being the work of Chloé Zhao whose comments about her home country earned her a spot on their stringent censors' blacklist, but was also pulled from several countries for LGBTQ+ representation.
Eternals features a diverse leading cast, with the titular group of heroes comprised of a broad range of ethnicities, ages and an equal gender split. Lauren Ridloff's Makkari is deaf, further broadening representation. Brian Tyree Henry's Phastos is the first openly gay superhero in the MCU whose inclusion was of course criticized by the worst kind of sad trolls still unable to handle gay representation.
Either way, making up your own mind on the matter is always the best approach - something easier done when the movie pops up on a streaming service that you, say, already subscribe to as opposed to being gated behind a cinema ticket. Especially during times of a global health crisis.
That said, with its current reputation, we don't see Ikaris and the god gang bringing in a lot of new subscribers to Disney+. Not unless, or until, more eyes on the film continue increasing general opinion and opposing the critical reception. We're not confident enough to say that Eternals may have a cult future, and the nickname of being 'the worst' MCU movie might just stick for memes' sake, but there might be a redemption story in all of this.
Naturally, Marvel's Eternals received the same promo attention as all the other movies, and as a result is making more bank than Black Widow and Shang-Chi did. Alongside all the trailers, advertisements, billboards and the usual marketing you have your merchandise offerings from LEGO, Hasbro and other manufacturers.
Marvel's Eternals is said to launch on Disney+ on the 12th of January, 2022.