Why Won’t All the ‘Avengers’ Movies Be On Disney+ At Launch?

Whether you decide to buy into Disney+ on November 12 will probably be based on what shows and movies you’ve grown to love over the years. One thing we’re learning is that while Disney+ has A LOT of great content on opening day already, a number of things are still missing.

Those of you expecting to see the Avengers movies from the MCU on the platform will be sorely disappointed. Yes, a small number of MCU movies will be available, though not the ones that maybe every Marvel fan thinks are the greatest.

If you think every movie owned by Disney is going away from Netflix by Nov. 12, you’ll soon find out the latter service still has some time streaming Marvel product. Regardless, the sand in the hourglass will likely wear away fast.

Most Marvel movies starring the Avengers together won’t be available for a while

Disney+ logo shown on a phone screen
Disney+ logo | Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Keep in mind there will be four Avengers movies available on opening day at Disney+, albeit only Iron Man, Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and recent Captain Marvel.

Avengers: Endgame will arrive to Disney+ on December 12, which isn’t a long wait, outside of already being available on Blu-Ray and some streaming services for a small rental fee.

As for all other MCU films, it might be a little while before they make it to Disney+ due to one specific reason: They’re still streaming at Netflix, not including rights issues. This might surprise some people who thought all content belonging to Disney would be gone from Netflix by the time Disney+ debuted.

Because contracts and legalities are always complicated, there was a little bit of time left for Netflix to keep streaming them. From Netflix’s perspective, they may find it a relief to have them still available through the holiday season considering Disney+ might affect their subscriber base over time. When all those contracts expire isn’t entirely known, but a few MCU films will be on Netflix until next summer.

It’s a good bet Disney+ will have almost all of the MCU movies by this time next year. By then, they may become a true global leader in at least equaling Netflix’s subscriber base numbers. What about the immediate term, though, in terms of who Disney+ intends to attract?

First impression numbers are going to matter

All the new streaming platforms are wanting to show good early returns in viewer subscriptions, hence creating a marketing push to entice more people to join. Apple TV+ went to great lengths to make sure that happened by offering a free year subscription if anyone buys a new Apple product by November 1.

Disney is doing something similar with Verizon offering a free year, plus banking on heavily advertising their classic content. Their massive catalog of classics is going to be fun to see, which includes some live-action films not seen in years or nearly forgotten. For Disney purists (and there’s millions of them), they’ll find this attractive enough.

Not that Disney isn’t catering to younger and more modern sensibilities. Thanks to their ownership of Fox content, we’ll see all thirty seasons of The Simpsons, and most of the Star Wars films from the get-go.

Maybe some will wait another year before they bite on Disney+ so they can take in more of the original shows the service plans for the early 2020s. Yet, we wonder how many Marvel fans are only getting Disney+ for Marvel content, leaving them a little disappointed for a while.

Are there more Marvel fans than classic Disney fans?

Based on the box office numbers of the MCU films, there may be more diehard Marvel movie fans globally than those who watch classic Disney or even Star Wars.

There isn’t any way to gauge this officially without doing more extensive research and polling. Now we just wait and see if the opening quarter of Disney+ is greatly affected in subscriber numbers due to the lack of Marvel content right away. Or, will their deal with Verizon inflate numbers just like Apple?

In the world of streaming, Disney+ may end up becoming the late bloomer in leading the new path, all because of riding out contractual ink on paper.