In a “one-off” plan, Disney has announced it’s going to release the live-action version of Mulan in a split strategy – it will be available via Disney+ from 4th September, and will go into cinemas where Disney+ isn’t available.
Disney’s CEO Bob Chapek announced the plan in the company’s quarterly financial update and said it was important to find new avenues of distribution during the pandemic, reports Deadline.
Anyone eager to watch Mulan shouldn’t be too overjoyed, however, as Chapek said that in the US the cost for premiere access streaming of the movie via Disney+ will be $29.99 (£22.95).
Chapek acknowledged the price was steep, but he added “as you know it’s fairly expensive to produce for consumers the quality we’re known for. Rather than simply rolling (the movie) into a free offering, we thought we can test anything when you have your own platform. We’re trying to establish a new premiere access window to capture that investment we got (in the film). We’ll have a chance to learn from this. From our research under a premiere access offering, not only does it get us revenue from our original transaction of PVOD, but it’s a fairly large stimulus to sign up for Disney+.”
Chapek said that the Mulan release was a “one-off” strategy and isn’t a permanent business “windowing” model. “We’re pleased to bring Mulan to a consumer base that’s been waiting for it as we’ve had to move our (release) dates several times.”
Mulan, the live-action reboot of the 1998 animation movie, is the story of a young Chinese woman who defies societal expectations and dresses as a boy to go to war so her father is spared. It is a jewel among Disney’s upcoming movie releases and it was originally meant to be in cinemas in March, before coronavirus disrupted the plans.
Mulan was then moved to a release date of 24th July, then 21st August and then it was dropped from the release calendar completely.
Disney plans a cinema release of Mulan in some territories where it has no plans to offer Disney+ and were cinemas are actually open, such as in China.
Chapek revealed that Disney+ subscription total has exceeded 60 million.
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