Disney Plus Premier Access lets subscribers buy new movies like ‘Black Widow’ and ‘Cruella’ while they’re still playing in theaters

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Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh star in "Black Widow."
Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh star in “Black Widow.”

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With the release of “Mulan” in September 2020, Disney Plus introduced a new purchase option called “Premier Access.” This feature allows subscribers to pay a $30 one-time fee in order to watch a movie early before it’s released to all Disney Plus members.

Cruella” and “Black Widow” are the latest Premier Access titles, and “Jungle Cruise” will be released on July 30.

Below, we’ve detailed everything you need to know about Premier Access, including how it works, how much it costs, and how long the option will be available.

What is Disney Plus Premier Access?

Disney Plus Premier Access is a purchase option for Disney Plus subscribers, enabling members to pay an extra $30 one-time fee to gain early streaming access to a movie that’s still playing in theaters. Once purchased, Disney Plus members can continue to stream or download a Premier Access movie for as long as they remain a subscriber.

You can think of Premier Access as a way to buy a virtual ticket to a brand-new Disney movie to watch at home instead of a theater. And, unlike a one-time theater viewing, you get to watch as many times as you like as long as you stay a Disney Plus subscriber.

That said, it’s important to note that Premier Access movies eventually become available to all Disney Plus subscribers without an extra fee. As such, Premier Access is best for people who like to watch new films as soon as they come out. If you don’t mind waiting a couple months, you can simply hold out for the wide release and save a lot of money.

How much does Disney Plus Premier Access cost?

The Disney Plus Premier Access fee is $30 in the US. In order to buy a Premier Access movie, you also need to have a Disney Plus subscription, which costs $8 a month or $80 a year.

Disney Plus is also available as part of a bundle with Hulu Basic and ESPN+ for $14 a month. That’s about $6 less per month than you’d pay if you subscribed to all of those services without the bundle.

How long does the Disney Plus Premier Access window last?

The Premier Access window typically lasts around three months. After that period, Premier Access titles become available to all Disney Plus subscribers.

This three-month period is similar to the release window that studios typically use for theatrical movie premieres before they’re allowed to debut on home video.

What movies have been released through Premier Access?

Disney has released four movies via Premier Access on Disney Plus. Two of those titles are now available to all Disney Plus subscribers without an extra fee.

Below is a full rundown of Premier Access titles released so far, along with details on when all members can watch them without paying extra.

Premier Access release date When can all Disney Plus subscribers watch?
Mulan September 4, 2020 Now available to all subscribers
Raya and the Last Dragon March 5, 2021 Now available to all subscribers
Cruella May 28, 2021 Available to all subscribers on August 27
Black Widow July 9, 2021 Available to all subscribers on October 6

What other movies will be available for Disney Plus Premier Access?

The next Disney movie set for a Premier Access release is “Jungle Cruise.” The film will be available to watch in theaters and on Disney Plus via Premier Access starting July 30.

You can preorder “Jungle Cruise” now for $30. The movie will be available to all Disney Plus subscribers without an extra fee on November 12.

Jungle Cruise (small)

Can you buy or rent Premier Access movies on other services?

Though “Mulan,” “Raya and the Last Dragon,” and “Cruella” debuted exclusively as Disney Plus Premier Access titles, their exclusivity periods were only temporary. The movies became available to buy on other streaming platforms without a Disney Plus subscription around one month after they premiered.

“Black Widow” will follow a similar pattern and is now set to become available for purchase on other video-on-demand streaming retailers starting August 10.

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How to watch ‘Loki,’ Marvel’s time-hopping series starring Tom Hiddleston – the season finale is now streaming on Disney Plus

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Loki Disney Plus
“Loki” is now streaming exclusively on Disney Plus.

  • “Loki” debuted on Disney Plus on June 9 and all six episodes of the first season are now available.
  • The show stars Tom Hiddleston and continues phase four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
  • A Disney Plus subscription costs $8 a month or $80 a year.

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“Loki” is the latest Disney Plus original series, continuing the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s expansion from movies to TV shows. The new series starring Tom Hiddleston and Owen Wilson is the third original MCU show to premiere on Disney Plus, following “WandaVision” and “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.”

Loki’s fate was left ambiguous at the conclusion of “Avengers Endgame,” where he came into contact with a mystical artifact called the Tesseract and disappeared. In his new series, Loki is captured by a group called the Timekeepers and asked to help track down another version of himself that has distorted reality.

The end credits of the season one finale confirmed that “Loki” will continue for a second season, unlike “WandaVision” and “Captain America and the Winter Soldier.” “Loki” lead writer and executive producer Michael Waldron also wrote the upcoming MCU film “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” and signed a deal with Disney that will reportedly include a new “Star Wars” movie.

Hiddleston first played Loki in “Thor” in 2011 and was the primary villain of the first “Avengers” movie in 2012; the character has appeared in a total of six MCU films leading up to his original show. Owen Wilson stars alongside Hiddleston in his first MCU appearance, playing a Timekeeper agent named Mr. Mobius.

“Thor: Love and Thunder” is due out in theaters in February 2022, but it’s unknown if Loki will return to the franchise. “Black Widow” was released in theaters on July 9, and is also available on Disney Plus as a Premier Access movie with a $30 fee. The next MCU show on Disney Plus will be “What If…?” an animated series scheduled for August 11 that will explore alternate timelines in the Marvel universe.

How to watch ‘Loki’ on Disney Plus

“Loki” premiered on Disney Plus on June 9. The show is exclusive to the service, so you need a Disney Plus subscription to watch. All six episodes of the first season are now available.

New episodes of “Loki” debuted every Wednesday during the season at 3 a.m. ET. Previously, MCU shows like “WandaVision” and “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” were released on Fridays. The season finale of “Loki” premiered on July 14.

You can visit DisneyPlus.com or download the Disney Plus app to sign up for the service. Disney Plus costs $8 for a monthly plan or $80 annually. If you’re also interested in subscribing to Hulu or ESPN+, you can sign up for a discounted bundle with Disney Plus starting at $14 a month.

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The Disney Plus app is available on Apple devices, Android, Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast, and most smart TVs. Disney Plus includes support for 4K resolution and HDR (high dynamic range) contrast on compatible displays, as well as Dolby Atmos audio on supported systems.

When does ‘Loki’ season 2 premiere?

Marvel confirmed that a second season of “Loki” is in development but a release date has not been announced yet. The confirmation came during the end credits of the season one finale.

What other movies and shows can I watch on Disney Plus?

Along with being home to nearly every movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Disney Plus has a big catalog of classic movies and shows.

That includes Disney’s library of animated films, new Pixar releases, Disney Channel programming, documentaries from National Geographic, and entire franchises like “Star Wars” and “The Simpsons.”

Disney Plus original series like “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” and “The Mandalorian” were the most streamed shows in America as new episodes premiered.

For more details, check out our full Disney Plus review here.

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I’m a big Marvel fan and got my money’s worth with ‘Black Widow’ on Disney Plus Premier Access, but casual viewers are better off waiting

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black widow
“Black Widow” premiered on July 9 in theaters and on Disney Plus.

  • Disney Plus Premier Access lets subscribers stream “Black Widow” at home while it’s in theaters.
  • Premier Access costs $30, but the movie will be available to all members without a fee in October.
  • As a big Marvel fan, I got my money’s worth, but casual viewers are better off waiting.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky(Disney Plus Premier Access) (medium)

Following multiple delays from its original May 2020 release date, Marvel’s “Black Widow” is finally available. Viewers currently have two options to watch the movie: in theaters or at home with Disney Plus Premier Access.

For $30 on top of your Disney Plus subscription, you can unlock “Black Widow” to stream from the comfort of your couch while it’s still playing in theaters. That said, subscribers who are willing to wait, can watch the movie without an extra fee starting October 6.

I bought the movie with Premier Access on release day and it made for a fun movie night-in over the weekend. Though I’m a huge movie buff, I’m still a bit iffy about going to theaters during the pandemic, and I actually prefer the privacy of streaming new films on my big-screen TV.

That said, as entertaining as the movie is, many Disney Plus subscribers will be better off waiting until the wide release to save some cash. Still on the fence? Here’s a full rundown of what we thought of the movie and the overall value of Premier Access.

‘Black Widow’ is an entertaining blockbuster with heart

After seven appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) finally gets her own solo film. It was a long time coming and, as a piece of popcorn entertainment, the movie doesn’t disappoint, even if it does feel a bit disconnected from the larger MCU storyline.

Directed by Cate Shortland, “Black Widow” is an action-packed adventure that primarily takes place between two previously released Marvel movies, “Captain America: Civil War” (2016) and “Avengers: Infinity War” (2018). Natasha Romanoff, AKA Black Widow, is on the run from the US government. While in hiding, she reconnects with her former spy family to take down a nefarious Russian general and his deadly, mind-controlled assassin army.

It’s this “spy family” that really gives the movie its heart and helps keep audiences invested in the story. Florence Pugh is especially engaging as Natasha’s surrogate sister, Yelena, and David Harbour nearly steals the show as Red Guardian, a past-his-prime Russian super soldier. Their dysfunctional family dynamics lead to plenty of laughs and help ground all the larger-than-life super heroics in some genuine emotion.

Red Guardian leaning against a door
David Harbour as Red Guardian in “Black Widow.”

Of course, those super heroics are a big part of what people pay to see, and the action here is fun, exciting, and well choreographed. Some over-the-top CGI sneaks in every now and then, but the movie’s set pieces take a page from the “Bourne” franchise with visceral fights and chases – but, you know, dialed way up to 11.

Sadly, Natasha herself does get lost a little in all the explosions and new character introductions. Johansson is strong in the role, but considering this is Black Widow’s first and possibly only solo movie, the story lacks real weight on her overall arc. This is compounded by the fact that the film’s story takes place before “Avengers: Endgame” which, as MCU fans know, makes it hard for the movie to really do anything new with the character’s journey.

At the end of the day, this is a fun standalone adventure that shines a spotlight on a character that should have already been highlighted years ago. It’s also an engaging showcase for Florence Pugh’s take on the Black Widow title, set to live on in the MCU for many more appearances. Outside of that new character’s intro, it isn’t essential viewing for the overarching Marvel plotline, but “Black Widow” is a popcorn adventure worth the price of admission.

Should you buy ‘Black Widow’ now or wait?

Scarlett Johansson Black Widow
“Black Widow” is available to stream at home with Disney Plus Premier Access.

From a pure entertainment standpoint, “Black Widow” is easily worth $30 for most fans of Marvel movies. But, knowing the film will be available to all Disney Plus members without an extra fee in three months makes a full recommendation tricky.

If you’re the type of fan who’s on the fence about going back to theaters but would have otherwise bought a ticket to see “Black Widow” on opening weekend, then Premier Access is for you.

For $30 on top of your Disney Plus subscription, you’re essentially buying a virtual ticket to see the movie from the comfort of your couch as soon as possible. As an added bonus, you can watch it as many times as you like as long as you remain a Disney Plus member. In this context, the $30 asking price isn’t unreasonable, since that’s around the same cost of two adult movie tickets.

It also doesn’t hurt if you’ve got a solid home entertainment setup to really show the movie off. Seeing “Black Widow” on opening weekend in Dolby Vision on a 65-inch 4K TV with surround sound really helped me feel like I got my money’s worth, and I didn’t even miss the movie theater experience at all.

However, if you’re not someone who waits with bated breath for each new Marvel release, then you’re better off holding out for three months until the Premier Access window has expired and “Black Widow” opens up to all Disney Plus members.

The bottom line

Black Widow Disney Plus
Scarlett Johansson in Marvel’s “Black Widow.”

Black Widow” is a fun and surprisingly sweet entry in the MCU, but it feels more like a standalone side mission than an integral part of the overarching Marvel storyline. It’s still great popcorn entertainment, however, and as a fan of Marvel flicks, I’m happy with my Premier Access purchase.

That said, anyone worried about massive spoilers or missing out on the next big Marvel twist can rest easy about seeing the movie right away. This is a good film, but it’s not an absolute must-see. Casual fans and those on a budget are better off waiting until October 6 to catch the movie when it becomes available to all Disney Plus members.

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Marvel’s ‘Black Widow’ hits Disney Plus on July 9 and subscribers can preorder it now for $30

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Black Widow Marvel Disney Film
“Black Widow” is the next Disney Plus Premier Access release.

  • Marvel’s “Black Widow” will be released on July 9 in theaters and on Disney Plus via Premier Access.
  • The movie is set before “Avengers: Endgame,” and will introduce a new Black Widow to the MCU.
  • The Premier Access fee is $30; a Disney Plus subscription costs $8 a month or $80 a year.

(Disney Plus Premier Access) (medium)

Black Widow,” the highly anticipated Marvel film starring longtime Avenger Scarlett Johansson, will premiere on July 9 in theaters and on Disney Plus. To stream the movie while it’s still playing in theaters, Disney Plus subscribers need to pay an extra $30 Premier Access fee.

The film takes place before the events of the latest Marvel films, with Johansson’s titular character dealing with her past as an assassin for hire. Florence Pugh plays a younger assassin who received the same training as Black Widow, while “Stranger Things” star David Harbour plays a Russian hero named Red Guardian.

Black Widow” will be the first Marvel film released in theaters since “Spider-Man: Far From Home” debuted in July 2019. Disney originally planned to release the film during summer 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the premiere for more than a year. “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” is scheduled for a September 3 theatrical release, and will introduce a new Marvel hero played by Simu Liu.

Tickets for the theatrical release of “Black Widow” are on sale now; you can also pay in advance for Premier Access on Disney Plus.

How to watch ‘Black Widow’ on Disney Plus

Black Widow” will be available on Disney Plus as a Premier Access title on July 9. Disney Plus subscribers need to pay an additional $30 fee to unlock the movie at home the day it’s released.

Paying for Premier Access will let you watch “Black Widow” as often as you like for as long as you remain a Disney Plus member. You can preorder the film now.

(Disney Plus Premier Access) (medium)

Disney Plus subscribers willing to wait three months can enjoy the movie without an extra fee starting October 6. On that date, “Black Widow” will become available to all Disney Plus members at no extra cost.

Disney Plus is priced at $8 a month or $80 per year; to sign up, visit DisneyPlus.com or download the Disney Plus app. If you’re also interested in subscribing to Hulu and ESPN+, you can sign up for a discounted bundle with Disney Plus starting at $14 a month.

Disney Plus supports 4K streaming with Dolby Vision and HDR color support on compatible devices. The Disney Plus app is available on Apple devices, Android, PlayStation, Xbox, Roku, Fire TV, and most smart TV brands.

What else can I watch on Disney Plus?

Along with being home to nearly every movie and show in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Disney Plus has a huge streaming library of additional titles from Disney’s collection. You’ll find Disney’s classic animated films, new Pixar releases, Disney original shows, documentaries from National Geographic, and entire franchises like “Star Wars” and “The Simpsons.”

Original series like “Loki” and “The Mandalorian” have been the most watched shows on TV during their runs on Disney Plus.

For more details, check out our full Disney Plus review here.

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‘Loki,’ Marvel’s new time-hopping original series starring Tom Hiddleston, is now streaming on Disney Plus

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Loki Disney Plus
  • “Loki” debuted on Disney Plus on June 9, with new episodes premiering every Wednesday at 3 a.m. ET.
  • The show stars Tom Hiddleston and continues phase four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
  • A Disney Plus subscription costs $8 a month or $80 a year.

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“Loki” is the latest Disney Plus original series, continuing the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s expansion from movies to TV shows. The new series starring Tom Hiddleston and Owen Wilson is the third original MCU show to premiere on Disney Plus, following “WandaVision” and “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.”

Loki’s fate was left ambiguous at the conclusion of “Avengers Endgame,” where he came into contact with a mystical artifact called the Tesseract and disappeared. In trailers, Loki is captured by a group called the Timekeepers and asked to help repair the damage he caused when he used the Tesseract.

Hiddleston first played Loki in “Thor” in 2011 and was the primary villain of the first “Avengers” movie in 2012; the character has appeared in a total of six MCU films leading up to his original show. Like “WandaVision” and “Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” it’s unclear if “Loki” will be an ongoing series, but it should give fans an even better idea of what’s to come from Marvel’s phase-four projects.

“Thor: Love and Thunder” is due out in theaters in February 2022, but it’s unknown if Loki will make an appearance. “Black Widow” will be released in theaters on July 9, and will be available the same day on Disney Plus as a Premier Access movie with a $30 fee. The next MCU show on Disney Plus will be “Ms. Marvel,” with a premiere planned for this fall.

How to watch ‘Loki’ on Disney Plus

“Loki” premiered on Disney Plus on June 9. New episodes of “Loki” will debut every Wednesday during the season, and will appear on Disney Plus at 3 a.m. ET. Previously, MCU shows like “WandaVision” and “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” were released on Fridays.

You can visit DisneyPlus.com or download the Disney Plus app to sign up for the service. Disney Plus costs $8 for a monthly plan or $80 annually. If you’re also interested in subscribing to Hulu or ESPN+, you can sign up for a discounted bundle with Disney Plus starting at $14 a month.

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The Disney Plus app is available on Apple devices, Android, Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast, and most smart TVs. Disney Plus includes support for 4K resolution and HDR (high dynamic range) contrast on compatible displays, as well as Dolby Atmos audio on supported systems.

What other movies and shows can I watch on Disney Plus?

Along with being home to nearly every movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Disney Plus has a big catalog of classic movies and shows.

That includes Disney’s library of animated films, new Pixar releases, Disney Channel programming, documentaries from National Geographic, and entire franchises like “Star Wars” and “The Simpsons.”

Disney Plus original series like “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” and “The Mandalorian” were the most streamed shows in America as new episodes premiered.

For more details, check out our full Disney Plus review here.

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Read the original article on Business Insider

Disney Plus Premier Access lets subscribers buy new movies like ‘Cruella’ while they’re still playing in theaters

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

cruella emma stone hq 1
Emma Stone in “Cruella.”

  • With Premier Access, Disney Plus members can pay $30 to unlock select movies three months early.
  • Cruella” is the latest Premier Access title, and “Black Widow” will be added in July.
  • A Disney Plus subscription costs $8 a month or $80 a year.

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With the release of “Mulan” in September 2020, Disney Plus introduced a new purchase option called “Premier Access.” This feature allows subscribers to pay a $30 one-time fee in order to watch a movie early before it’s released to all Disney Plus members.

Raya and the Last Dragon” was the second Premier Access title, and “Cruella” is the latest to debut on the streaming service.

Below, we’ve detailed everything you need to know about Premier Access, including how it works, how much it costs, and how long the option will be available.

What is Disney Plus Premier Access?

Disney Plus Premier Access is a purchase option for Disney Plus subscribers, enabling members to pay an extra $30 one-time fee to gain early streaming access to a movie that’s still playing in theaters. Once purchased, Disney Plus members can continue to stream or download a Premier Access movie for as long as they remain a subscriber.

Premier Access debuted with the release of “Mulan” on September 4, 2020. “Raya and the Last Dragon” followed on March 5, 2021, and “Cruella” became the third Premier Access title on May 28, 2021.

You can think of Premier Access as a way to buy a virtual ticket to a brand-new Disney movie to watch at home instead of a theater. And, unlike a one-time theater viewing, you get to watch as many times as you like as long as you stay a Disney Plus subscriber.

That said, it’s important to note that Premier Access movies eventually become available to all Disney Plus subscribers without an extra fee. As such, Premier Access is best for people who like to watch new films as soon as they come out. If you don’t mind waiting a couple months, you can simply hold out for the wide release and save a lot of money.

How much does Disney Plus Premier Access cost?

The Disney Plus Premier Access fee is $30 in the US. In order to buy a Premier Access movie, you also need to have a Disney Plus subscription, which costs $8 a month or $80 a year.

Disney Plus is also available as part of a bundle with Hulu Basic and ESPN+ for $14 a month. That’s about $6 less per month than you’d pay if you subscribed to all of those services without the bundle.

How long does the Disney Plus Premier Access window last?

The Premier Access windows for “Mulan” and “Raya and the Last Dragon” were both three months. “Cruella” is also set to have a three-month window, beginning on May 28 and lasting through August 27.

This three-month period is similar to the release window that studios typically use for theatrical movie premieres before they’re allowed to debut on home video. After the 90 days, Premier Access titles become available to all Disney Plus subscribers.

What other movies will be available for Disney Plus Premier Access?

Disney Plus has announced plans to release “Black Widow” and “Jungle Cruise” through Premier Access. Both movies will be available to stream on the same day they’re released in theaters.

“Black Widow” will be available with Premier Access on July 9. “Jungle Cruise” will follow on July 30.

Can you buy or rent Premier Access movies on other services?

Though “Mulan” and “Raya and the Last Dragon” debuted exclusively as Disney Plus Premier Access titles, their exclusivity periods were only temporary. Both movies became available to buy on other streaming platforms without a Disney Plus subscription around one month after they premiered.

It’s currently unknown if “Cruella” will remain exclusive to Disney Plus or if it will get a similar expanded release after a limited exclusivity window.

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‘Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K’ stars Patton Oswalt as a comic book villain – all 10 episodes of the animated series are now on Hulu

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It’s tough being a villain, especially for M.O.D.O.K., who struggles to balance world domination and family life in a new Hulu animated series.

“Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K.” focuses on the Marvel comic book character of the same name. The acronym stands for Mental Mobile Organism Designed Only for Killing. The series stars the vocal talents of Patton Oswalt as the titular character, an “egomaniacal super villain” who attempts to maintain his evil organization and personal relationships, according to Hulu’s synopsis.

Oswalt, along with Jordan Blum, are co-creators of the series which is made in a stop-motion animation style. The animation comes from Stoopid Buddy Studios, the producer of the popular stop-motion series “Robot Chicken.”

“Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K.” has received positive reviews from critics. The show currently holds an “87% Fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes with 22 critic reviews.

How to watch ‘Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K.’

“Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K.” premiered May 21 exclusively on Hulu. Hulu’s catalog also features a number of other popular animated shows like “Futurama,” “Rick and Morty,” and “Bob’s Burgers.”

You can get Hulu for as low as $6 a month ($60 a year) with ads. Aside from the basic plan, Hulu also has an ad-free plan for $12 a month. All Hulu plans come with a 30-day free trial.

“Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K.” is available to watch on Hulu through a number of streaming devices, including iOS and Android devices, Apple TV, Fire TV, Chromecast, Switch, Roku, PlayStation, Xbox, web browsers, and smart TVs.

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Hulu subscribers who want to see more Marvel shows and movies should consider getting the $14 a month Disney Plus bundle.

The bundle includes Hulu Basic, ESPN+, and Disney Plus. Disney’s streaming service is home to the majority of Marvel’s TV and film catalog, including titles such as “WandaVision,” “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” and “Black Panther.”

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Marvel actor Blondy Baruti, who starred in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 2,’ launched BePerk, a social network designed to give people more control

BePerk CEO Blondy Baruti
Marvel actor and BePerk CEO Blondy Baruti.

  • Marvel actor Blondy Baruti has launched BePerk, a social network aimed at giving users control.
  • Baruti spoke with Insider about designing the app.
  • “I believe in this, so I invested everything that I made in the last four years,” he said.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Back in 2017, Marvel actor Blondy Baruti was watching a few model friends post on social media, hungry for likes and followers, when he decided there had to be a better way.

“I thought, I won’t be able to stop all of this, but I can at least try to slow it down or minimize it by creating something in social media that will be focused on giving the power to the users,” Baruti said during a Thursday phone call from his Los Angeles home.

In the years since, Baruti, who played an alien villain, Huhtar, in “Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2,” has used much of the money he earned from acting and writing a memoir to build the social media app BePerk.

Originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Baruti escaped a bloody conflict in his youth, walking hundreds of miles to safety. After making his way to the US, he played college basketball – he’s about 6-foot-8 – and eventually ended up in Hollywood.

He told those stories in his 2018 memoir, written with Joe Layden, entitled “The Incredible True Story of Blondy Baruti: My Unlikely Journey from the Congo to Hollywood.”

Now, he’s been slowly rolling BePerk out to users, with an official launch timed to coincide with May’s Mental Health Awareness Month. The elevator pitch is that the app is focused on giving the user control instead of making it about likes or follower counts.

When the app’s users post photos or videos, they get to decide how long others can see them, with the low end set at just a few seconds. Information about how many followers each person has or how many views a post gets can be set to private.

BePerk Social Network Screenshots
BePerk screenshots.

The app’s features are a direct response to studies that have said social networks like Instagram are detrimental to young adults’ mental health, Baruti said. He says he doesn’t plan to rely on algorithms to get content in front of users, but rather let them choose what they want to see.

“Algorithms also cause a lot of user frustration,” said Janet Deskins, who teaches at Walden University’s MS in Marketing program. She added: “When frustration sets in, many people start searching for a different social media platform that appears to be less invasive.”

Deskins and others pointed out a range of boutique social apps that were vying for those who’ve decided Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter don’t offer enough control to users. Among them were Vero, MeWe, and Howbout.

“It’s becoming increasingly difficult to ignore how Big Tech has been handling user data and infringing on user privacy, what with the heads of these major tech platforms appearing before Congress on a regular basis,” said Attila Tomaschek, digital privacy expert at ProPrivacy.

Neil Tanna, chief executive at Howbout, said in an email that his app was built for “intimate” networks, not people who’ve you’ve never met.

Marvel Actor Blondy Baruti
Baruti.

On a phone call between London and Los Angeles on Thursday, Baruti was energetic, excited to talk about his new project, despite the early hour where he was.

“Hey man, hey man – I come from the Congo, OK,” he said. “I walked 500 miles, so I’m always hyped up.”

Baruti said he was used to being up at all hours, because he’d hired a team of overseas designers and coders to help him build the BePerk app. During the first year of the project, he’d be busy working most of the night. He would hop in bed after dinner, then wake up at about 10pm. He’d stay online with this team until 4am. Then he’d grab a quick “nap” and be ready for his day job.

“That was when it was super, super, super tough for me, just to try to balance everything,” Baruti said.

On the California paperwork filed for BePerk’s parent company, called Gods Hands Inc., Baruti’s listed as CEO, CFO, and secretary.

The app has his fingerprint on every part of it, down to the colors used for many of the buttons and screens. (“I always liked light blue, sky blue.”) The logo is a flash, signifying how fast a post can disappear. (“It was like a lightning bolt, like real quick, like a flash, like poof.”)

He wouldn’t say exactly how much of his money he’s spent to get the app up and running. But he said the next steps included introducing ads – a portion of each ad buy will go to charity – and seeking out new investors.

“I didn’t get any investment from anyone,” Baruti said. “I believe in this, so I invested everything that I made in the last four years from that time – from the movie, the book deal, from a couple shows I did for ABC.”

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Disney Plus Premier Access will let subscribers buy upcoming movies like ‘Cruella’ and ‘Black Widow’ while they’re still playing in theaters

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Emma Stone in “Cruella.”

  • With Premier Access, Disney Plus members can pay $30 to unlock select movies three months early.
  • Cruella” is the next Premier Access title, and “Black Widow” will be added later this summer.
  • A Disney Plus subscription costs $8 a month or $80 a year.

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With the release of “Mulan” in September 2020, Disney Plus introduced a new purchase option called “Premier Access.” This feature allows subscribers to pay a $30 one-time fee in order to watch a movie early before it’s released to all Disney Plus members.

Raya and the Last Dragon” was the second Premier Access title, and “Cruella” will be the next when it debuts on May 28.

Below, we’ve detailed everything you need to know about Premier Access, including how it works, how much it costs, and how long the option will be available.

What is Disney Plus Premier Access?

Disney Plus Premier Access is a purchase option for Disney Plus subscribers, enabling members to pay an extra $30 one-time fee to gain early streaming access to a movie that’s still playing in theaters. Once purchased, Disney Plus members can continue to stream or download a Premier Access movie for as long as they remain a subscriber.

Premier Access debuted with the release of “Mulan” on September 4, 2020. “Raya and the Last Dragon” then followed on March 5, 2021.

You can think of Premier Access as a way to buy a virtual ticket to a brand-new Disney movie to watch at home instead of a theater. And, unlike a one-time theater viewing, you get to watch as many times as you like as long as you stay a Disney Plus subscriber.

With that said, it’s important to note that Premier Access movies will eventually become available to all Disney Plus subscribers without an extra fee. As such, Premier Access is best for people who like to watch new films as soon as they come out. If you don’t mind waiting a couple months, you can simply hold out for the wide release and save a lot of money.

How much does Disney Plus Premier Access cost?

The Disney Plus Premier Access fee is $30 in the US. In order to buy a Premier Access movie on Disney Plus, you also need to have a Disney Plus subscription, which costs $8 a month or $80 a year.

Disney Plus is also available as part of a bundle with Hulu Basic and ESPN+ for $14 a month. That’s about $6 less per month than you’d pay if you subscribed to all of those services without the bundle.

How long does the Disney Plus Premier Access window last?

The Premier Access window for “Mulan” began on September 4 , 2020, and ran until December 4, 2020. Meanwhile, the Premier Access window for “Raya and the Last Dragon” began on March 5, 2021 and will end on June 4 at 11:59 p.m. PT.

This three-month period is similar to the release window that studios typically use for theatrical movie premieres before they’re allowed to debut on home video.

What other movies will be available for Disney Plus Premier Access?

Disney Plus has announced plans to release “Cruella” and “Black Widow” through Premier Access. Both movies will be available on the same day they are released in theaters.

Cruella” will be available with Premier Access on May 28. “Black Widow” will then follow on July 9.

Can you buy or rent Premier Access movies on other services?

Though “Mulan” and “Raya and the Last Dragon” debuted exclusively as Disney Plus Premier Access titles, their exclusivity periods were only temporary. Both movies became available to buy on other streaming platforms without a Disney Plus subscription around one month after they premiered.

It’s currently unknown if “Cruella” will remain exclusive to Disney Plus or if it will get a similar expanded release after a limited exclusivity window.

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Disney Plus offers gift subscriptions for new subscribers – here’s how to have one sent in time for Mother’s Day

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Disney’s on-demand streaming service, Disney Plus, offers ad-free access to a growing library of movies and shows from all of the studio’s major brands and franchises. If that special Disney fan in your life hasn’t subscribed yet, you can help them tune in with a Disney Plus gift subscription.

A Disney Plus gift subscription costs $80 and is sent as an email code on a date of your choosing. This makes it easy to schedule delivery for holidays and special occasions, including Mother’s Day on May 9.

You can find detailed instructions on how to order a gift subscription below.

Here’s how to gift a Disney Plus annual subscription:

  1. Visit this page to purchase the gift.
  2. You’ll enter your information, your recipient’s name and email, and what date you’d like the code to be delivered.
  3. The $80 fee will be charged to your account as soon as you make the purchase.
  4. Your recipient will visit DisneyPlus.com/redeememail, select the offer, and manually enter the code printed on the email.
  5. Once redeemed, the recipient will be credited a one year subscription to Disney Plus.
  6. If the recipient doesn’t see the gift confirmation email in their inbox on the delivery date, Disney recommends that they check their spam folder.
  7. If the email still can’t be located, you can contact Disney Plus customer service to have the code resent.

Restrictions of the Disney Plus gift subscription:

  1. The gift subscription can only be redeemed by new Disney Plus subscribers.
  2. The redemption code is one-time use only and non-transferable.

Once they’ve activated the subscription, your recipient will get:

  • Unlimited, ad-free access to thousands of movies and series from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and 20th Century Fox.
  • Unlimited downloads they can watch anywhere, anytime.
  • The ability to stream on up to four devices simultaneously and add up to seven profiles.
  • A GroupWatch feature that allows them to sync and watch streams with friends and family virtually.

Can Disney Plus gift subscriptions be used for the bundle with ESPN+ and Hulu?

Disney Plus gift vouchers are only available for an annual subscription to Disney Plus, but recipients can still upgrade to the streaming bundle with Hulu and ESPN+ for a discounted price. Here’s how to upgrade and save:

  1. Redeem your Disney Plus gift subscription voucher and create a Disney Plus account.
  2. Visit the Disney Plus Billing Details page and choose the option to switch to the Disney bundle.
  3. You will now be upgraded to the $14 a month bundle plan with Disney Plus, Hulu, and ESPN+.
  4. A monthly credit equal to the value of your gift subscription will then be applied to the monthly bill for your bundle.

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