Disney’s live action remake of Mulan won’t be making it to theaters this year after all, thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. At least, not the vast majority of North American theaters. Disney CEO Bob Chapek announced during Disney’s recent earnings call, which Nerdist attended virtually, that Mulan is going straight to their Disney+ streaming service on September 4. However, it will also open in whichever movie theaters are back in business at that time.
Chapek stressed the importance of finding new distribution methods for their films during the pandemic. On their would-be blockbuster, he said, per Deadline, that in “in the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, and number of countries, we will be offering on Disney+, the epic Mulan on a premier access beginning September 4, the price point being $29.99 in the U.S.”
That’s a pretty steep price. However, if you think of what it would cost a family to see Mulan on opening weekend… It’s still a bargain.
The Walt Disney Company
Disney originally slated Mulan to open back in March. But once the coronavirus pandemic hit, it became an impossibility. They moved the release date for the film to August 21. Then, on July 23, they took the film off of the schedule entirely. It will be interesting to see if this nearly $200 million dollar epic can turn a profit from just Disney+ and the foreign box office.
During the call, a shareholder asked about future theatrical releases, specifically mentioning Black Widow. Chapek said they’re currently viewing Mulan’s digital release as a “one-off.” He added, “That said, we find it very interesting to be able to take a new offering to consumers at the $29.99 price point and learn from it and see what happens.”
Now, Disney has shared more details about how viewers can watch Mulan on the streaming service. And it sure seems like Disney put in a lot of set-up for a “one-off.” Mulan will be available for active Disney+ subscribers only. Via The Verge, the movie will be on Disney+’s new Premier Access shelf. That shelf is its own rental platform within the Disney streaming service. Once you pay $29.99 to rent the film, it will be available as long as you have a Disney+ membership. If you cancel, then no more access to Mulan. According to Disney, you can make a Premier Access rental of Mulan through November 2nd. (As long as you rent it before November 2nd you can still watch it with your Disney+ membership).
Mulan will be available at no additional cost on Disney+ on December 4th.
The future of Disney’s films has never been more in flux. But it seems Mulan will be noteworthy as the first big-ticket blockbuster to abandon major theatrical release due to COVID-19.
Featured Image: Walt Disney Company
Originally published on August 4, 2020 with updates on August 13.
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