Shang Chi Headed to Straight to Disney Plus?

Shang Chi Headed to Straight to Disney Plus?

It’s beginning to look like a possibility.  

Delta Variant panic porn may work to Disney’s advantage in this case.  It might spare them the embarrassment of another flop.

Shang Chi was supposed to be released “Only in theaters” in three weeks.  Except that in the latest ads the “Only in theaters” has been dropped and so, for that matter, has the Sept 2nd release date.

The tracking has to be terrible on this movie.  It was created from scratch to pander to China and the Chinese were deeply offended by it.  Part of this is the whole Fu Manchu thing, they’ve hated that character since they first heard about him in the 1920s.  And Shang Chi’s original father was the Sax Rohmer estate sanctioned Fu Manchu himself.  When the rights lapsed and Marvel couldn’t get them back they turned Fu Manchu into the Mandarin but he was obviously the same character.

Another part is that the Han really don’t know who they are right now.  They have no self-imposed collective identity.  In the past 100 years, they have had too much happen to them to have a consistent collective image of themselves.  They are a mass of conflicting pathologies because they couldn’t be anything else after the century they’ve gone through.

Consequently, a bunch of Marvel/Disney Baizous telling them, “this is what you are,” went over like a lead fart.

And Shang Chi won’t do any better here.  Walmart has seen the writing on the wall and is clearance-ing out the Shang Chi toys before the movie is out.

That is the kind of thing that filmmakers like Kevin Feige couldn’t care less about and makes accountants like Bob Chapek pull his hair out.

Hollywood still sees China as a good market, whereas the institutional investors see it as a near-future liability and Chapek represents the investors, he’s been very clear about that. 

The renewed Covid panic gives Chapek all the excuse he needs to give Shang Chi the Artemis Fowl treatment and send it straight to streaming without bothering with a $30 surcharge that no one is going to pay anyway.

More importantly, it diminishes Kevin Feige, which is Chapek’s primary goal these days.

Okay, I’m done here.

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