How ‘Shang-Chi’ vindicated theater owners after their criticism of Disney’s ‘Black Widow’ release strategy

Xialing, Shang-Chi, and Katy in Shang-Chi
“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.”

  • Disney plans to release its remaining movies this year exclusively to theaters.
  • The move comes after the success of “Shang-Chi,” a box-office hit and theatrical exclusive.
  • Theater owners had expressed displeasure with Disney’s “Black Widow” Disney+ strategy.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Theater owners wanted Disney to commit to movie theaters. They got their wish.

After the success of the studio’s latest Marvel movie, “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” Disney announced on Friday that the rest of its 2021 slate would receive exclusive theatrical releases with shortened windows.

The slate includes another Marvel movie, “Eternals,” and Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” remake, which will receive 45-day theatrical windows – the same as “Shang-Chi.” The animated film “Encanto” will have a 30-day window before heading to Disney+.

Before the pandemic, exclusive theatrical windows would typically be between 75 days and 90 days. But most of the major studios have negotiated with exhibitors to shorten that time frame during the pandemic. Disney’s plans beyond “Shang-Chi,” though, were a mystery – until now.

The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), the largest theater trade group, had been waiting for this moment.

After “Black Widow” declined a sharp 68% at the domestic box office in its second weekend, NATO released a critical statement calling simultaneous release a “pandemic-era artifact that should be left to history with the pandemic itself.” Disney released the movie simultaneously in theaters and on Disney+ for an extra $30 fee.

NATO CEO John Fithian told Insider in a recent interview that there were still “several big remaining questions” regarding some studios release plans for the remainder of the year and heading into 2022, alluding that the group wanted answers from Disney.

Movie theaters can probably thank “Shang-Chi” for Disney finally landing on a concrete strategy for the remainder of its 2021 movies. The movie earned $75 million in its opening three-day weekend and a record $94 million over the four-day Labor Day weekend. It’s since made $145 million domestically and $256 million worldwide. That doesn’t even include China, the world’s biggest theatrical market, where it hasn’t been approved for release.

In Fithian’s interview with Insider, he predicted that “Shang-Chi” wouldn’t have as big of a drop in its second domestic weekend as “Black Widow” because it wasn’t available to stream. He was right. “Shang-Chi” earned $34.7 million over the weekend, a 54% drop from its first three days in theaters and a smaller decline than most major blockbusters released this year.

While the “Shang-Chi” box office may have pushed Disney to go all in on exclusive theatrical windows for the rest of the year, it did find another source of revenue with the “Black Widow” release. Disney didn’t announce its total Disney+ haul, but did say it earned $60 million from streaming purchases in its first weekend.

But Scarlett Johansson is also suing Disney over the “Black Widow” release, claiming that the company breached her contract by not giving the movie an exclusive theatrical run, which could have contributed to Disney’s strategy shift.

“Shang-Chi’s” success came on the heels of another well-performing Disney release, “Free Guy,” which was also exclusive to theaters. The movie has made $101 million domestically so far and $276 million worldwide.

“Shang-Chi” has received heaps of praise from critics and audiences, which could have boosted word of mouth for its second weekend. It has a 92% Rotten Tomatoes critic score and a 98% audience score, as well as an A grade from CinemaScore, which surveys audiences on a movie’s opening night.

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Why Marvel’s ‘Shang-Chi’ may not be released in China and what it means for Hollywood’s future

shang-chi
“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.”

  • Disney’s “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” may not get a China release date.
  • It could signal that fewer Hollywood movies will be approved in the country in the future.
  • China is now the world’s biggest theatrical market, driven largely by local films during the pandemic.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Disney’s “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” is a box-office hit after opening with $94 million over the four-day Labor Day weekend.

But the movie, which is the first Marvel Cinematic Universe entry headlined by an Asian character, still doesn’t have a release date in the world’s largest theatrical market: China, where foreign releases must be approved by the local government.

Deadline reported on Friday that a date may be out of reach after 2017 comments made by star Simu Liu resurfaced this week on Chinese social media, in which Liu called China a “third world” country.

The movie had already faced controversy over the title character’s comic-book history. When first introduced in 1973, Shang-Chi’s father was Fu Manchu, a character now considered to have perpetuated racist Asian stereotypes. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has addressed Shang-Chi’s comic history, which has been rewritten multiple times over the years.

“Definitively, Fu Manchu is not in this movie, is not Shang-Chi’s father, and again, is not even a Marvel character, and hasn’t been for decades,” Feige told Variety last month.

But beyond any concerns about the movie itself, “Shang-Chi’s” China release, or lack thereof, reflects the country’s media crackdown and the changing nature of its relationship with Hollywood, which has relied on the China box office to boost big-budget tentpoles.

Disney did not return a request for comment for this story.

China’s crackdown is hurting Disney

Aynne Kokas, a media studies professor at the University of Virginia and the author of the book “Hollywood Made in China,” told Insider that the “Shang-Chi” controversy is happening “in parallel with widespread tightening” of China media and its film market.

The country’s regulations have particularly impacted Disney over the past year.

“Mulan” faced calls from outside China for a boycott because parts of the movie were filmed in Xinjiang, where officials have been implicated in human-rights violations against Muslim Uighurs. Following the foreign criticism, China ordered a media blackout of “Mulan” ahead of its release in the region. It ended up flopping with just $40 million over its entire theatrical run there.

A line of 10 superheroes stands looking forward in Marvel's "Eternals"
Marvel’s “Eternals” is set for release in November 2021, starring Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Richard Madden, and more notable actors.

A China release for Disney’s next Marvel movie, “Eternals,” is also uncertain. The movie’s director Chloé Zhao, who was born in China, has faced backlash from Chinese nationalists over a 2013 interview in which she said “there are lies everywhere” in China. Chinese censors blocked mentions of her Oscar win on social media earlier this year after she won best director and her film “Nomadland” won best picture.

“I would be surprised if ‘Eternals’ got released in China,” Kokas said. “The controversy has gotten a lot of attention and has been a rallying cry for Chinese netizens.”

It could be a major loss for Disney, as Marvel films have performed well in China. “Avengers: Endgame” is the country’s highest grossing foreign film with $614 million.

“‘Shang-Chi’s’ global performance would benefit immensely from a release in China, both because of the clear cultural appeal and the fact that Marvel movies are usually top tier box-office performers in the Middle Kingdom,” said Shawn Robbins, the Box Office Pro chief analyst.

Local movies are dominating China’s box office

Since the release of “Endgame,” China has passed the US as the biggest theatrical market in the world, due largely to how China’s cinemas have rebounded during the coronavirus pandemic while the US’s theatrical industry has struggled.

The rebound has been driven by Chinese films like “Hi, Mom” and “Detective Chinatown 3,” which were released this year and quickly cracked the top five of China’s biggest movies ever.

Only two Hollywood releases are currently in the top 10 highest grossing movies at the China box office this year: “F9” and “Godzilla vs. Kong.”

More and more local productions are accounting for China’s box office.

“There are Chinese blockbusters that Chinese filmmakers are making that people want to watch, and they feel less derivative than those made in Hollywood,” Kokas said.

China has a 34-film quota on the number of foreign films released in the country per year on a revenue-sharing basis.

But Kokas predicted that fewer Hollywood titles will be approved in China in the coming years. Those that are approved will face a “much tighter regulatory environment,” she said.

Robbins is more bullish about the future of Hollywood and China’s relationship, though.

“China has an excellent catalog of locally produced content to drive theatrical business, but there’s no doubt that Hollywood releases have also proven important to the market’s overall box office year in and year out,” he said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Superhero movies have a deep connection to 9/11, and it shows how NYC and Disney capitalized on our collective grief

The Avengers battle of New York
“The Avengers” during 2012’s depiction of “the battle of New York.”

  • Twenty years after 9/11, the superhero film has come to dominate entertainment as a form of collective therapy.
  • The 21st-century renaissance of both New York City and Disney capitalized on the phenomenon.
  • The pandemic may have drawn the era of superhero films as group therapy to a close.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Two decades ago, terrified New Yorkers looked on at a calamity. The skyscrapers of Manhattan were witness to a tragedy unfolding.

But then a superhero saved the day.

That was how it played out in the famous train scene from 2004’s “Spider-Man 2,” when Tobey Maguire’s wall-crawler prevents a runaway subway train from crashing. The reason it’s famous is what happened next: The exhausted hero collapses, and grateful New Yorkers carry him to safety, passing him over their heads in a Christ-like pose.

The scene is powerful on its own merits, but its initial context was a statement on recovery from the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. A fictional New York City was being saved, and expressing thanks to its savior. Twenty years after 9/11, this urgent emotional need has been fed again and again by superhero films.

As the “war on terror” transformed American foreign policy in concrete terms and American political culture in more intangible ways, as argued in Spencer Ackerman’s new book “Reign of Terror,” superhero films came to dominate Hollywood with New York-centric tales that reckon with the sacrifices required to face down an existential threat.

Warner Brothers’ “The Dark Knight” of 2008 was a direct allegory for the Bush-era scandal of warrantless wiretapping, as Batman decides the best way to defeat a terrorist is to illegally surveil the entire city of Gotham. The same year, Marvel’s first “Iron Man” film stars a billionaire arms dealer who builds a suit of armor to break himself out of a terrorist den in Afghanistan.

As the superhero took over the American imagination, Disney took over the film industry, beginning with its acquisition of Marvel in 2009. Early aughts movie themes centered around the redemption of New York City, cementing a close relationship with Disney that stretched back to the 1990s, when it partnered on the rehabilitation of Times Square. (Disney did not respond to a request for comment.)

Disney’s market cap skyrocketed over the next two decades, keyed on by its focus on superheroes after 9/11. Along the way, it snapped up Lucasfilm, and its share of the Hollywood box office expanded from around 10% in 2008 to a full third by 2019. These acquisitions have transformed Disney’s lucrative theme-parks business, which it revamped in the late 2010s to focus less on Mickey and Minnie and more on recreating its blockbuster Marvel films.

By the time of 2012’s “The Avengers,” Disney was setting box-office records with the cinematic wrecking of New York, illustrating that the psychic cost of 9/11 was still the animating force of blockbuster entertainment. Years later, audiences still weren’t over their collective trauma.

“Avengers: Endgame” became the highest-grossing film of all time in 2019 as an exploration of group therapy and dealing with loss, cultural critic Tom Breihan argued on the AV Club, before becoming an exercise in group catharsis as the good guys literally traveled back in time to undo damage on a galactic scale. Eighteen years after 9/11, audiences still wanted to see things put back to the way they used to be.

The fortunes of Disney and NYC were virtually entertwined throughout this period, as a Disneyfied theater district shed its gritty image and tourism boomed, setting the stage for a New York City renaissance. The city became one of just a few American “superstar cities,” led by its dominant financial services sector.

Although the New York metro area was relatively flat as a share of GDP over the two decades, at around 9%, the NYC-based financial services sector steadily ascended from about 5% of GDP to about 6% between 2001 and 2019, representing billions of dollars flowing into the city, along with a huge stream of tourists, usually with “Lion King” tickets.

The superhero itself is a NYC success story. Comic-book journalist Abraham Riesman’s recent biography of Stan Lee, “True Believer,” argues that Marvel’s founding editor-in-chief saw his co-creations as the true successor to Disney’s empire.

Comics’ status as outsider art allowed the creation of a violent new mythology, and the Marvel work of legendary artists Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko specifically elevated New York City itself as a main character in the mythos, as Kirby’s Fantastic Four lived in a midtown skyscraper and Ditko’s Spider-Man was a kid from Queens, while his Dr. Strange was a Greenwich Village resident, on Bleecker Street.

In 2018, with the superhero supremacy well enshrined at the box office, The New Yorker’s Richard Brody analyzed the genre as a type of “secular religion,” faithful to parables that are canonized almost on the level of Catholic saints.

Twenty years after 9/11, cracks in this secular canon are emerging, as the pandemic abruptly ended all the cathartic in-person experiences in which Disney specialized, from theme parks to packed movie theaters.

It may give way to a new kind of superhero narrative, centered on the kind of civil-rights movement that ignited throughout the Trump years, especially the George Floyd protests of the summer of 2020. Disney’s surprise smash hit “Black Panther” in 2019 was just such a film.

It just so happens that Disney acquired exactly such a property in the biggest purchase from its imperial post-9/11 phase: 21st Century Fox and the film rights to the X-Men. Maybe it’s time for a new story.

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Disney’s remaining movies for 2021 will premiere exclusively in theatres for up to 45 days, following the ‘Black Widow’ furore

Star cast of Disney's "Eternals."
The cast of Disney’s “Eternals.”

  • Disney said on Friday it will release the remainder of its 2021 movies exclusively in theatres.
  • Musical “Encato” will play for 30 days, while another five movies will have a 45-day window.
  • Scarlett Johansson filed a lawsuit against Disney in July for “Black Widow’s” dual-release.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Disney plans to release the remainder of its 2021 movies exclusively in theatres, the company announced on Friday.

Most will be played in cinemas for more than a month before arriving on its Disney+ streaming platform.

The move follows the company’s latest box-office success with Marvel’s “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” which was released only in theatres on September 3.

The film broke the Labor Day weekend record, by pulling in a robust $94 million, according to Variety.

Disney said its animated musical fantasy “Encato” will be released in theatres before Thanksgiving, on November 24, and will play for 30 days. The movie, which includes music written by award-winning Hamilton composer Lin-Manuel Miranda, tells the story of a family who lives in a magical house in the mountains of Colombia.

Another five releases will play in theatres for at least 45 days, the company said. Marvel’s “Eternals” is set for a November release, while Steven Spielberg’s live-action musical “West Side Story” will debut in December.

The other films include historical drama “The Last Duel,” science-fiction comedy “Ron’s Gone Wrong,” and period spy film “The King’s Man.”

Since the pandemic forced theatres across the country to close, Disney+ and other streaming services experimented by debuting movies at the same time online and in theaters.

The live-action Mulan remake had a dual release, as did “Wonder Woman 1984,” and “Black Widow.” The latter led to a lawsuit filed by its star, Scarlett Johansson, who claimed the move violated her contract.

“There is no merit whatsoever to this filing,” a Disney spokesperson said. “The lawsuit is especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Disney previously reported that “Black Widow” made $158 million in its global box-office opening. It also said the movie grossed more than $60 million from Disney+ Premier Access purchases as part of its $218.8 million opening weekend haul.

With the Friday announcement, the company indicated confidence in audiences wanting to go back to theatres, despite the US grappling with a surge in cases driven by the Delta variant.

Read the original article on Business Insider

‘Shang-Chi’ is being pirated less than ‘Black Widow’ so far and it could be a big win for movie theaters

shang chi marvel
  • Early data shows that “Shang-Chi” isn’t being pirated as much as other Disney movies this year.
  • “Shang-Chi” is only in theaters, while “Black Widow” and “Jungle Cruise” also streamed on Disney+.
  • “Shang-Chi” could have a stronger hold at the box office in its second weekend than “Black Widow.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Marvel’s “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” dominated the box office over the weekend with $90 million over the four-day holiday.

It’s a welcome piece of news for theater owners who have insisted that the strategy of releasing a movie simultaneously to theaters and streaming is hurting their industry. “Shang-Chi,” unlike previous Disney releases during the pandemic like “Black Widow,” will be exclusive to theaters for at least 45 days.

A major part of the theater owners’ argument is that a simultaneous release increases piracy.

“When a movie is released simultaneously to a streaming service, a pristine copy of that movie is made available day one that it’s in cinemas,” John Fithian, the CEO of the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), told Insider during a recent interview.

Data does suggest piracy could have been a complication for streaming releases.

“Black Widow,” another Marvel movie that premiered in theaters and on Disney+ for an additional $30 fee, was the No. 1 most pirated movie for three weeks in a row on the piracy-news website TorrentFreak’s weekly rankings, including the week it debuted.

jungle cruise

“Jungle Cruise,” which Disney released using the same strategy as “Black Widow,” was the third most pirated movie on TorrentFreak’s list the week it premiered, following “F9” (which became available to rent on digital platforms that week), and “Black Widow.” It was the second most pirated movie the following two weeks, topped only by “The Suicide Squad,” which was available to stream on HBO Max while in theaters.

Disney’s animated “Raya and the Last Dragon” also topped the most pirated lists two weeks in a row after it premiered in theaters and on Disney+ in March.

“Shang-Chi,” however, has lagged. It was No. 5 on this week’s TorrentFreak list, which accounted for the week ending on Monday.

Here were the top five:

  1. “Don’t Breathe 2” – became available on video-on-demand platforms on Friday
  2. “The Protégé” – only in theaters
  3. “The Suicide Squad” – was available on HBO Max through Sunday
  4. “Cinderella” – streaming on Amazon Prime Video
  5. “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” – only in theaters

“Black Widow” earned $80 million domestically in its debut weekend, the most of any movie so far this year for its first three days of release. And Disney said it made $60 million from Disney+ purchases during its first weekend. It’s still the biggest movie at the US box office of the year so far with $182 million (it’s earned $372 million worldwide).

But Fithian thinks “Shang-Chi” will have a stronger hold in its second weekend than “Black Widow,” which dropped 67.9%. It also dropped 41% from its first Friday to Saturday, an unusually steep decline for a Marvel movie.

Fithian said “Black Widow’s” drop “was dramatic because the pirated copies were available in less than 24 hours.”

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Hulu will raise the prices of its basic and ad-free streaming plans by a dollar starting in October

Hulu president Kelly Campbell
Hulu president Kelly Campbell during Disney’s Investor Day presentation on December 10.

  • Two of Hulu’s on-demand streaming memberships will get more expensive in October.
  • The price for Hulu and Hulu with No Ads will respectively cost $6.99 and $12.99 per month.
  • Prices for Live TV and Disney Bundle packages will not be affected.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Hulu’s basic membership plans will get one dollar more expensive starting October 8, the company said.

The price for Hulu will increase from $5.99 to $6.99 per month, while Hulu with No Ads will go from $11.99 to $12.99 per month. Plans that include Live TV or are bundled with Disney+ and ESPN+ will remain the same.

Users logging into their accounts online were met with a splash page notifying them of the increase, and a footnote was added to the service’s plan-selection page for new customers.

Hulu price increase footnote

The Disney-owned company counts 42.8 million people among its subscribers in the US, and offers more than 70,000 TV episodes and movies, along with more than 75 live television channels.

By comparison, Disney+ has 116 million paid subscribers, while Netflix has 208 million. More than 91% of Hulu’s subscribers have the on-demand service only, while less than 9% pay for the Live TV option.

Last year, Hulu raised the price for its Live TV package by $10, upsetting many cord-cutters who were unhappy with seeing a monthly cost of as much as $70.99 that compared with a traditional cable bill.

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Disney reveals new, more expensive annual theme park passes at Disney World as it raises prices for line skipping and cuts free transportation from the airport

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disney world florida
Walt Disney World in Florida in 2020.

  • Disney changed its annual pass program and will charge extra for PhotoPass and the Water Park and Sports Option.
  • Disney also added costs on previously free-to-use perks, like Disney’s Magical Express and FastPass.
  • A Disney spokesperson said the changes were based on guest feedback and are aimed at enhancing the customer experience.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Disney is bringing back its annual pass program, but, like with Genie+ and Mears Connect, it comes with a price.

Disney announced an all-new annual pass system on Monday that allows fans to choose from four unique options that offer a range of benefits:

  • Disney Pixie Dust Pass: $399 (Florida residents only)
  • Disney Pirate Pass: $699 (Florida residents only)
  • Disney Sorcerer Pass: $899 (Florida residents and Disney Vacation Club members only)
  • Disney Incredi-Pass: $1,299 (open to all customers)

Compared to Disney’s former annual passes, the new system is more expensive than before and will no longer include PhotoPass or the Water Park and Sports Option, which gave guests admission to the Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon water parks, tee time at Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course, FootGolf, and miniature golf, and access to the ESPN Wide World of Sports.

Twitter users expressed frustration over the new program, saying the decision is the company’s latest cash-grab attempt.

“Over $300 increase and taking away perks like free PhotoPass? I can justify paying this if the new Fastpass system was included but not this,” said one user.

“$1300 as the only option for non-residents/non-DVC? Insanity,” commented another. Twitter users have also expressed concern over the park reservation system, citing pass holders should be given free rein to enter the park whenever they want without being restricted by park availability.

While prices are going up, a spokesperson at Disney explained that the decisions made by the company are to enhance the overall customer experience.

Using feedback from its fans, Disney has invested in its parks by adding new attractions and entertainment, like Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and the Disney Enchantment nighttime spectacular, and created more flexible options for guests, like a-la-carte annual passes and early theme park entry for resort guests.

Disney’s annual pass system is not the only change the company has made since the start of the pandemic. Beginning January 2022, Disney’s Magical Express will no longer offer free transportation from Orlando International Airport to the parks, according to the company. Instead, Mears Connect will run the route and charge guests for the service.

Disney announced last week that it is also dropping its popular FastPass system for Genie+, a new pay-to-play app that will costs guests $15 at Disney World and $20 at Disneyland to skip the line at certain attractions, which was previously free to do at Disney World.

Read More: Some Disney-focused travel agents welcome new pay-to-play Genie+ system as customers fume

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Companies like Apple, Disney, and ExxonMobil are swarming Capitol Hill in a desperate attempt to squash Biden’s tax plan to pay for free college and childcare

Joe Biden
President Joe Biden.

  • Business groups are stepping up efforts to crush Democrats’ planned business tax hikes.
  • The Washington Post reported that the Chamber of Commerce along with other major companies are organizing a lobbying campaign.
  • Companies want to preserve the tax rules they locked in under Trump’s 2017 tax law.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Prominent business groups are unleashing a massive lobbying effort to squash parts of the Democratic $3.5 trillion spending plan that include planned tax corporate hikes, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday.

The effort encompasses organizations like the American Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable, the National Association of Manufacturers, and the RATE Coalition, the Post reported.

Companies among their ranks include Disney, part of RATE; Apple, part of Business Roundtable; and ExxonMobil, counted among the National Association of Manufacturers.

The Post reported that the Chamber of Commerce is in the early stages of marshaling a campaign that includes advertisements aimed at Democrats and traditional lobbying in Congress, the newspaper said, citing three sources who remained anonymous to share internal decision making.

The party-line spending plan, which Democrats are currently drafting, would expand Medicare, set up a national program for paid family and medical leave, and include tuition-free community college, a child allowance, and initiatives to address the climate crisis, among other provisions.

Democrats intend to approve it through reconciliation, a path to bypass staunch GOP opposition and securing its passage with only a simple majority. In order for that process to work, Democrats must be in lockstep in the 50-50 Senate.

A sustained campaign organized by business groups could magnify Democratic divides over how much to ramp up taxes on the largest firms. Corporations are largely balking at Democrats’ push to roll back the tax treatment they locked in under President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax law, which reduced corporate taxes to 21% from 35% and included exemptions on taxing overseas profits.

Former Democratic senator Blanche Lincoln told the Post that the suite of corporate tax hikes could set back the US economy in its competition against China and “carry devastating consequences for American workers.” Lincoln serves as the main adviser to the RATE Coalition.

Democrats are onboard with stepping up corporate taxes, but they sharply disagree on how much it should climb. President Joe Biden unveiled a two-part infrastructure plan in the spring that sought increasing corporate taxes to 28% from 21%, amounting to a partial rollback of the Republican tax law.

“I’m not trying to punish anybody, but damn it, maybe it’s because I come from a middle-class neighborhood, I’m sick and tired of ordinary people being fleeced,” Biden said in an April 28 speech.

Yet some Democrats have already expressed reluctance to increase taxes to that level, warning it could damage the ability of American companies to compete. Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Mark Warner of Virginia both favor a smaller corporate tax hike, with Manchin backing a 25% rate instead.

Sen. Bernie Sanders ripped into the early signs of the campaign on Tuesday. “The rich and large corporations get richer, and their lobbyists do everything possible to protect their wealth and greed,” he wrote on Twitter. “Not this time.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Every Star Wars movie and show you can stream on Disney Plus – from ‘A New Hope’ to ‘Visions’

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Star Wars Disney Plus 4x3

  • Disney Plus offers every Star Wars movie from the original trilogy through “The Rise of Skywalker.”
  • The service is also home to exclusive Star Wars shows, like “The Mandalorian” and “The Bad Batch.”
  • Disney Plus costs $8 a month or $80 a year.

Monthly Subscription Service (small)

The Disney Plus streaming service is home to a large selection of movies and TV shows from all of the studio’s major brands, including the Star Wars franchise. You can sign up for $8 a month or $80 a year.

Every Star Wars movie, starting with 1977’s “A New Hope” and concluding with 2019’s “The Rise of Skywalker,” is available to watch right now on Disney Plus. New original Star Wars shows are also available to stream, and a full slate of movies and series have been revealed for the coming years.

If you’re a Star Wars fan looking for your favorite title to watch, we’ve broken down all the basics you need to know about streaming Star Wars on Disney Plus.

What Star Wars movies and shows can I stream on Disney Plus?

Disney Plus features every major Star Wars movie released so far. This includes all of the episodic entries in the franchise, from “A New Hope” through “The Rise of Skywalker.” All of the movies are available in 4K HDR with Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos on supported devices.

In addition to the movies, Disney Plus offers access to several Star Wars shows, including the original series “The Mandalorian.” The service is also home to animated Star Wars shows, like “The Clone Wars” and “Rebels.” The newest “Star Wars” original series, titled “The Bad Batch,” premiered on May 4, and a collection of short films from 10 Japanese animation studios called “Star Wars: Visions” will debut on September 22.

Other upcoming series include a live-action show focused on Obi-Wan Kenobi and another focused on Anakin Skywalker’s student Ahsoka. Multiple “Star Wars” movies have been announced as well, including one based on the comic book and video game series “Rogue Squadron,” and another created by “Thor: Ragnarok” director Taika Waititi.

Between all of the currently available Star Wars titles and all of the upcoming shows, there is a ton to stream. With that in mind, we’ve listed every Star Wars movie and show announced for Disney Plus so far.

Here are all the Star Wars movies and shows on Disney Plus:

Star Wars movies currently available on Disney Plus:

rise of skywalker poster tall
  • “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace”
  • “Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones”
  • “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith”
  • “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope”
  • “Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back”
  • “Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi”
  • “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens”
  • “Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi”
  • “Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker”
  • “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”
  • “Solo: A Star Wars Story” 
  • “Empires of Dreams: The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy” (the 2004 documentary film directed by Kevin Burns)

Monthly Subscription Service (small)
‘Star Wars: Visions’ – coming September 22

“Visions” is a collection of 10 animated short films set in the “Star Wars” universe. The films are developed by Japanese anime creators, which gives them a distinct look from Western “Star Wars” media. The show will be similar in scope to “The Animatrix,” a series of nine anime short films set in “The Matrix” universe, and “Batman: Gotham Knight,” a set of six animated Batman shorts set in Japan.

The anthology collection will debut on Disney Plus on September 22 with both English and Japanese voices. 

Monthly Subscription Service (small)
‘The Book of Boba Fett’ – December 2021

Star Wars The Book of Boba Fett

Temuera Morrison returns to his role as Boba Fett, the iconic bounty hunter from the original trilogy. “The Book of Boba Fett” comes decades after the character was presumed dead in “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi,” and will follow Fett’s ascension as the leader of the criminal underworld on Luke Skywalker’s home planet of Tatooine.

Monthly Subscription Service (small)
‘The Bad Batch’ – available now

‘The Bad Batch” is an animated series following a group of elite Republic soldiers in the aftermath of “The Clone Wars.” While the Republic troopers are clones of bounty hunter Jango Fett, each member of the Bad Batch has unique genetic skills that help contribute to the team.

‘The Bad Batch” premiered with a special 70-minute episode on May 4, Star Wars Day, and ran for 16 episodes during its first season. Disney has already announced that a second season will arrive in 2022.

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‘The Mandalorian’ – available now

the mandalorian
“The Mandalorian”

Set five years after the fall of the Empire in the original “Star Wars” trilogy, “The Mandalorian” focuses on a bounty hunter who finds himself on a mission to protect a creature with a powerful connection to the Force.

Director Jon Favreau (“Lion King” and “Iron Man”) is the creator, head writer, showrunner, and co-executive producer of the series, which stars Pedro Pascal as the Mandalorian alongside Gina Carano, Nick Nolte, Giancarlo Esposito, Emily Swallow, and Carl Weathers.

Two full seasons of “The Mandalorian” are now available to stream. A third season is in development, and the show sparked multiple spin-off series, including “Ahsoka” and “The Book of Boba Fett,” the latter of which is expected to debut on Disney Plus in December 2021. 

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‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ – available now

Star Wars Clone Wars

All seven seasons of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” are now streaming on Disney Plus.

The animated show originally came to an end after its sixth season back in 2014, but Disney revived the series for one final season on Disney Plus.  Season seven consists of 12 episodes. 

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‘Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian’ – available now

FILE PHOTO: Creator Jon Favreau (3rd L), President of Lucasfilm Kathleen Kennedy (2nd R), executive producer Dave Filoni (C) pose with cast members (L-R) Ming-Na Wen, Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano, Carl Weathers and Werner Herzog at the premiere for the television series "The Mandalorian" in Los Angeles, California, U.S., November 13, 2019. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
The creators and cast of “The Mandalorian” celebrating the series’ premiere.

This eight-part documentary series offers a behind-the-scenes look at the production of “The Mandalorian.” The show includes interviews, never-before-seen footage, and roundtable conversations with the cast and crew. Executive Producer Jon Favreau serves as the documentary’s host.

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Other Star Wars series currently available on Disney Plus:

Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens
The LEGO Star Wars games and TV series have become fan favorites.

  • “Star Wars: Rebels”
  • “Star Wars Resistance”
  • “Star Wars: The Resistance Rises”
  • “Star Wars Holiday Special”
  • “Star Wars Blips”
  • “Star Wars: Forces of Destiny”
  • “Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge: Adventure Awaits” 
  • “Star Wars Vintage: Clone Wars (2D Microseries)
  • “Star Wars: Ewoks”
  • “Star Wars: The Story of the Faithful Wookie”
  • “Star Wars: Ewoks The Battle for Endor”
  • “Star Wars: Caravan of Courage”
  • “LEGO Star Wars All Stars”
  • “LEGO Star Wars The Freemaker Adventures”
  • “LEGO Star Wars: Droid Tales”
  • “LEGO Star Wars: The New Yoda Chronicles”
  • “The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special”

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‘Ahsoka’ – TBA

the mandalorian Ahsoka Tano Disney Plus

Ahsoka is a Jedi first introduced in “The Clone Wars” animated series, but the Disney Plus show will feature an adult version of the character played by Rosario Dawson.

Ahsoka made her first live-action appearance during season two of “The Mandalorian.” The new series focuses on a villain named Grand Admiral Thrawn, a name that’s quite familiar with fans of “Star Wars” comic books and extended universe novels. Disney has not announced a premiere date yet. 

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Obi-Wan Kenobi Project – TBA

obi-wan kenobi
Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi in “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith”

One of the most anticipated Star Wars projects boasts the return of Ewan McGregor in the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi.

The as-yet-untitled Kenobi series is set eight years after the events of “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.” Following several delays, the show is now scheduled to premiere in 2022. Deborah Chow is attached to direct the series. Chow previously directed two episodes of “The Mandalorian.”

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‘Andor’ – TBA

cassian andor

“Andor” is a spy thriller with Diego Luna reprising his role as Cassian Andor from 2016’s “Rogue One.” Alan Tudyk also stars as the voice behind the droid K-2SO. As of publication time, there is no date for when this will be released.

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‘Lando’ – TBA

lando falcon star wars trailer

Lando Calrissian, the classic “Star Wars” character played by Billy Dee Williams and Donald Glover, will star in his own Disney Plus series led by “Dear White People” and “Bad Hair” director Justin Simien. 

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Untitled film from Taika Waititi – TBA

Taika Waititi
Director and writer Taika Waititi won his first Oscar for ‘Jojo Rabbit.’

Taika Waititi, award-winning director of films like “Thor Ragnarok” and “Jojo Rabbit,” is developing his own film set in the “Star Wars” universe. Waititi’s previously worked on “The Mandalorian,” voicing the droid character IG-11 and directing the finale of season one.

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‘Rangers of the New Republic’ – TBA

Star Wars Rangers of the New Republic

“Rangers of the New Republic” is a new series created by “The Mandalorian” showrunners Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni. The show is expected to connect with “The Mandalorian” and “Ahsoka,” but it’s not clear if the new series will feature any existing characters from the “Star Wars” universe. A release date has not been announced yet.

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‘The Acolyte’ – TBA

Star Wars The Acolyte

Disney describes ‘The Acolyte” as a mystery-thriller that explores the dark side of the Force in the final days of the High Republic, an era that came hundreds of years before the “Star Wars” films. Leslye Headland, a co-creator of the Netflix series “Russian Doll,” will write and produce the show.

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‘Rogue Squadron’ – Christmas 2023

Star Wars Rogue Squadron

‘Rogue Squadron” is a new film coming in 2023 from “Wonder Woman” director Patty Jenkins. The “Rogue Squadron” name has been used for comic books and video games that focus on the Republic’s ace pilots. While details on the film are slim, you can expect plenty of high-flying starfighter battles based on the name alone.

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‘A Droid Story’ – TBA

r2d2 c3po star wars

R2-D2 and C-3PO, the lovable robots who accompany the ‘Star Wars’ heroes across multiple adventures, will receive their own animated film, ‘A Droid Story.’ 

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Disney Plus FAQs

What is Disney Plus and how much does it cost?

Disney Plus is Disney’s on-demand streaming service with two types of plans. An annual subscription costs $80 a year, while a monthly subscription costs $8 a month. You can also sign up for a bundle with ESPN+ and Hulu for $14 a month.

Here is a full breakdown of the prices.

Each membership gets you ad-free streaming and unlimited downloads for a growing collection of movies and shows from DisneyPixarMarvel, Star WarsNational Geographic, and 20th Century Fox.

Read everything else you should know about Disney Plus here:

Read the original article on Business Insider

‘Jungle Cruise’ is no longer exclusive to Disney Plus – you can buy it on all major VOD streaming services for $30

When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Dwayne Johnson sitting down
Dwayne Johnson in “Jungle Cruise.”

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Disney’s “Jungle Cruise” premiered on July 30, nearly two years after its originally intended release date in October 2019. Starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt, the movie debuted simultaneously in theaters and on Disney Plus with Premier Access.

In “Jungle Cruise,” Johnson and Blunt embark on a perilous riverboat journey through the Amazon jungle to find the Tree of Life. The action-adventure movie is inspired by the ride of the same name at Disneyland and Disney’s Magic Kingdom.

Earlier this year, Disneyland revealed a new version of its Jungle Cruise ride for theme park visitors to enjoy. The updated attraction no longer includes offensive portrayals of Indigenous people.

Jungle Cruise” is the fifth movie released online via Disney Plus Premier Access. You can currently buy “Black Widow” with Premier Access as well.

Though initially exclusive to Disney Plus, “Jungle Cruise” is now available to purchase through multiple video-on-demand (VOD) retailers, like Amazon Prime Video and Vudu, for $30.

How to watch ‘Jungle Cruise’ on Disney Plus

Jungle Cruise” premiered on July 30 in theaters and on Disney Plus with Premier Access. In order to stream the movie through Disney Plus, you have to pay a one-time $30 fee on top of your subscription.

Viewers who purchase “Jungle Cruise” through Premier Access can watch the film as many times as they like as long as they remain a Disney Plus member. Disney Plus costs $8 a month or $80 a year.

If you don’t mind waiting a couple months, “Jungle Cruise” will become available to all Disney Plus members without an extra fee on November 12.

Jungle Cruise (small)

For viewers who want a wider variety of entertainment options, Disney Plus offers a bundle with Hulu and ESPN+ for a discounted rate of $14 a month. The bundle saves you $7 off the regular combined price of all three services.

You can access the Disney Plus app on most smartphones, smart TVs, and media players. You can find a complete list of devices and platforms that support Disney Plus here. “Jungle Cruise” is available to stream in up to 4K with HDR color and contrast on compatible devices.

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How to watch ‘Jungle Cruise’ without Disney Plus

At first, “Jungle Cruise” was exclusively available to stream on Disney Plus, but the movie is now available to purchase via multiple VOD platforms like Prime Video, YouTube, Vudu, Apple TV, Google Play Movies, and Microsoft.

“Jungle Cruise” costs $30 to buy through VOD retailers, which is the same price as Disney Plus Premier Access. After you buy “Jungle Cruise,” you get unlimited access to watch the movie whenever you want.

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Unlike the Premier Access option, you don’t need a subscription to Disney Plus or any other service in order to buy “Jungle Cruise” from a VOD retailer. If you have questions about VOD services, take a look at Insider’s guide covering the most popular ways to rent movies online.

What other movies can I stream on Disney Plus?

Subscribers looking for more entertainment on Disney Plus will find an extensive catalog of movies from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and 20th Century Fox.

Cruella” and “Mulan” were originally offered on Disney Plus for an additional fee, but these movies are now included as part of the standard membership. Fans of animated movies will enjoy “Luca,” a coming-of-age adventure, and “Soul,” a jazz-focused exploration of the afterlife.

Viewers who want to watch “Black Widow” still have to pay an extra $30 to access the movie. “Black Widow” joins the standard Disney Plus collection and will be available without an extra fee starting October 6.

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Read the original article on Business Insider