How to watch ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’

Simu Liu in "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings."
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Marvel’s latest movie, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, releases this Friday, Sept. 3, and introduces the first new hero of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s phase four. 

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings introduces the martial arts master into the MCU as he attempts to live a normal life away from his father, the leader of the mysterious and powerful Ten Rings organization. However, as he is drawn back into its dealings, he must reckon with his past and what path his future will take.

Simu Liu stars as Shang-Chi, with Awkwafina, Tony Leung, Meng’er Zhang, Fala Chen, Florian Munteanu, Wah Yuen and Michelle Yeoh also making up key roles in the cast. The film is directed by Destin Daniel Cretton.

Also: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings review

MCU movies are always must-sees for movie fans, so how can audiences watch Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings starting this weekend?

How to watch ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’

Shang-Chi will be playing exclusively in movie theaters upon its release, with limited Thursday night screenings on Sept. 2 prior to its wide release on Sept. 3. Check your local theater listings to see when and where the film is playing. 

If you’re looking to make the movie-going experience more affordable, movie theater subscription deals are good ways to lighten the hit on your wallet through discounts and flat monthly fees, especially if you’re someone who enjoys going to the movies often.

For anyone who does plan to go to the movie theater this weekend (or whenever) to see Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, please be aware of and follow your local mandates regarding masks to ensure a safe and relaxing experience for you and everyone else in the theater.

Is ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ on Disney Plus?

Earlier this summer Disney made waves with its release of Black Widow, which set a pandemic box-office record for an opening weekend at $80 million while also netting $60 million from those who bought Black Widow through Disney Plus Premier Access (though not without controversy). The option to stream these new movies at home was popular among Disney Plus subscribers, so will that be the case again with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings?

Short answer, no. Shang-Chi will have a 45-day exclusive run in theaters before it becomes available through any type of streaming or on-demand service.

As far as what might happen at the end of those 45 days, we don’t know right now. The 45-day window for Shang-Chi is expected to end on Oct. 17. Will Disney immediately put the film onto Disney Plus? Will it be on the Premier Access plan? Disney has been mum on official post-theatrical plans for Shang-Chi, but it could prove pivotal for the studio’s plans for upcoming MCU and other Disney films.

The four phases of the MCU

Marvel has broken up its film output into phases, with the first 23 films of the MCU taking place across three phases. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is the second film of phase four (after Black Widow) and the 25th MCU film overall. You can find out the best way to watch all of the MCU films right here, but below you’ll see where each Marvel film fits and what films we have to look forward to in phase four. 

MCU Phase One

MCU Phase Two

MCU Phase Three

MCU Phase Four

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Peaky Blinders, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Saturday Night Live, Only Murders in the Building and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.