Disney CEO Bob Chapek delivered a massive update for Mulan during today’s 3rd quarter earnings call, and it involves Disney Plus (surprisingly) but at a much higher cost (unsurprisingly).
Disney Plus (Premium)
The COVID-19 pandemic has put movie studios across the world in an impossible situation. Many highly anticipated new releases, that are ready for release, have been kept on ice for months due to the pandemic throwing the movie theatre industry into turmoil.
In an attempt to “find new avenues for distribution during the pandemic,” Chapek announced during the call that Mulan will be coming to Disney+ on September 4th, with a $29.99 price point (in the US). The film will continue to be released theatrically in China and other countries where theaters have re-opened and where Disney+ is not currently available.
Mulan Testing A New Business Model?
This may seem alarming to some, as there are concerns about this being a permanent means of delivering new features to at home audiences. Chepak described Mulan as a “one-off” and a circumstance of the pandemic. He later said that future releases, such as Black Widow, are not receiving similar plans. You’d have to think that Disney is testing the waters to see if Mulan is a hit. This business model may not be the norm for the future, but will provide the company with much needed flexibility. Also to keep in mind that most studios have to share profits when releasing films on demand. Disney+ is their entity, so the reap all the spoils.
This has to be crushing news for the major theatre distributors. They were looking at major releases such as Mulan and Warner Bro.’s Tenet to revitalize the industry. The earnings also announced that Disney saw a nearly $3 billion dollar hit due to the pandemic, but Disney+ has nearly 60.5 million subscribers. A subscriber base they were hoping to hit by 2024, that was clearly propelled by the stay at home orders mandated worldwide.
Mulan was originally due out March 27th and stars Liu Yifei in the title role with Jet Li, Donnie Yen, and Jason Scott Lee also in starring roles. Will you dole out the extra cash to watch Mulan at home on September 4th? Let us know what you think of this unprecedented move by Disney!