Mulan is one of the most-anticipated films of the year, but the ongoing pandemic has made it difficult to bring the movie to theaters. So far, Disney has been forced to alter the release date for Mulan multiple times as COVID-19 spikes continue to delay its premiere. Now, Disney has confirmed in an investor call that Mulan will stream on Disney+ through a premium access basis that will cost about $30.
So far, Disney+ aims to release Mulan on September 4th using its new premium access feature. Few details about the feature were given during the call, but its cost was discussed. Users will spend $29.99 to access the feature in order to watch Mulan, and many expect it to work like other VOD services. Disney said it would have another call for investors within the next month to discuss specific details.
The shocking move comes as a new press release from Disney breaks down its third-quarter losses due to COVID-19. The company reports it has suffered a $3 billion loss because of the pandemic's effect on business. This premium model for Disney+ will help mitigate the box office loss Mulan will take by streaming, but CEO Bob Chapek made it clear Mulan would screen in select theaters.
According to Chapek, Mulan will be available in theaters in select markets with widely opened theaters. No specific areas were named during the call, but markets like Japan have reopened their theaters in stages within the last month or so.
This move is a first for Disney and comes as a surprise to many fans. Last month left fans convinced Mulan would be moved back further for a theatrical release following the delay of Tenant by Warner Brothers. Discussion about the live-action Disney flick flared after it was announced Tenant would screen theatrically in select markets, but the idea of it moving to VOD was considered extreme. However, given the new information, Disney has provided about its streaming service's user base, this move could easily work. Chapek confirmed the site has amassed more than 60 million paid users, and those are all potential consumers for Mulan on VOD. That doesn't even account for non-subscribers who would flock to the service to watch the feature at an additional cost.
At this time, Disney has not made any other announcements about the release dates of any other films. The comic fandom is keeping a close eye on The New Mutants as it is meant to hit theaters later in August. The call did say Disney is treating Mulan as a one-off instance for VOD at this time.
What do you make of this bold move from Disney? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime! If you haven't signed up for Disney+ yet, you can try it out here.
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