With the wide theatrical release in the United States for Mulan ultimately cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Disney announced last month that the film would instead be released on September 4th on Disney+ as a "Premier Access" offering, meaning that Disney+ subscribers can purchase the film for $29.99 and stream it digitally -- a purchase that will remain on their account so long as they have a Disney+ subscription. But last week users began to notice that Mulan was also set to be released on the platform at no additional cost in the future and now we know exactly when: December 4th.
Last Saturday, a screenshot of the page for Mulan listed the date of the film's free arrival on Disney+ as December 4th. "Watch before its release to all Disney+ subscribers on December 2, 2020" that image read. However, the page was later updated to remove the date, though it still indicated the film would be coming to all Disney+ subscribers at some point. On Wednesday, The Verge's Julia Alexander posted a new screenshot to Twitter with the December 4th date restored. While Alexander's screenshot appears to come from the Canadian Disney+ page, the same December 4, 2020 date is also on the American Disney+ page for Mulan as well.
While many subscribers assumed that Mulan would, eventually, come to Disney+ without the Premier Access fee, the revelation that it will be released to all subscribers so quickly after the $30 premium release has certainly raised some eyebrows. Many fans online have suggested that knowing that the film will be available with no additional cost so soon de-incentivizes them from spending the money on the premium rental. On the other side of things, some have noted that even with the relatively quick turnaround to a no-additional-cost offering they will still pay the money for the premier access simply because theaters being closed has left them with a strong desire for new films -- especially once they can enjoy safely at home.
Ultimately, it will be very interesting to see how Mulan's premier access debut plays out, but Disney CEO Bob Chapek has already said that the film will likely be a one-off offering.
"We are looking at Mulan as a one-off as opposed to saying there's a new business windowing model we are looking at," Chapek explained during an investor's call earlier this year.
Mulan hits Disney+ on September 4th as a "Premier Access" VOD rental. The film will be available for all Disney+ subscribers at no additional cost on December 4th. If you haven't signed up for Disney+ yet, you can try it out here.
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