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“Mulan” Will Come To Disney+ In September…For An Extra Charge

For months, the fate of Disney’s live action Mulan remake has been up in the air. It’s seemed like whatever Warner Bros. and Christopher Nolan’s Tenet did, Mulan followed. Now, however, Disney is changing the game. In early September, they’re going to have their would be tentpole open on Disney+. Interestingly, it’s not going to be as simple as that, as the Mouse has decided that the film is going to have a premium rental price. Will audiences be curious enough to shell out thirty bucks to rent this flick? That’s the question that the entire industry is going to be very interested to find out. Read on for more…

According to Variety, on September 4th, the United States, among other areas, will be getting Mulan for $29.99 extra on Disney+. The movie will still play in theaters where the streaming service isn’t available, but by and large, it’s skipping theaters. A streaming premiere for this blockbuster would have been unthinkable, just a few months ago. It’s debatable whether Disney should have just held back and opened it next summer, when the landscape of 2021 is different than 2020, but honestly…who knows? They’re taking some money while the taking is good, for better or worse.

Here’s a bit from the report:

In another major blow to movie theaters, Disney announced “Mulan” will forgo its planned theatrical release. Instead, the live-action remake is premiering on Disney Plus on Sept. 4 for a premium rental price.

Unlike the rest of the content available on Disney Plus, “Mulan” won’t come with a subscription to the service. Consumers in the U.S. and other territories will have to pay $29.99 on top of the streaming service’s monthly subscription fee. In markets where Disney Plus isn’t available, “Mulan” will play in cinemas.

For now, Disney’s CEO Bob Chapek says “Mulan’s” big move was a necessary move during the pandemic and isn’t reflective of a new business model for the company.

“We’re looking at ‘Mulan’ as a one-off as opposed to say there’s some new business windowing model that we’re looking at,” Chapek said Tuesday on the company’s earnings call.

Disney has shelved a number of buzzy titles since the pandemic shuttered theaters. But that doesn’t mean they will all be siphoned off to Disney Plus before gracing the big screen. Chapek said that Disney wants to “learn from it and see the actual number of transactions.”

The move further emphasizes the studio’s increased reliance on Disney Plus at a time when most of their business — from theme parks and cruises to movie theaters and retail stores — have been crippled by the pandemic. Research, Disney execs say, suggests that bringing a high-profile release like “Mulan” “will act as a fairly large stimulus to sign up for Disney Plus.”

Chapek added that it gives them a chance to “recapture some of our original investment” on “Mulan.” The movie cost $200 million to produce and many millions more to market and promote on a global scale.
Originally scheduled to open on March 27, “Mulan” was meant to be one of Disney’s major theatrical releases for the year. The studio mounted a lavish red carpet premiere at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles on March 9. But just three days later, the cascade of industry closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic forced Disney to postpone “Mulan’s” release. It was delayed multiple times before Disney indefinitely removed it from their release calendar last week.

Stay tuned for more…

(Source: Variety)

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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