With the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing, movie studios have scrambled to find new avenues of business, as theaters remain closed. Many big films have been pushed back, or have been moved to streaming services, and Disney’s Mulan is the latest to make that move. Unfortunately, unlike other films on the popular streaming service, Mulan will come with a substantial “premiere access” fee.
Disney announced today that Mulan will premiere on Disney Plus on September 4, after five months of being pushed back from its wide theatrical release. Mulan will come with a $29.99 additional cost, on top of the $8 to $13 monthly fee that subscribers already pay for the service.
Disney CEO Bob Chapek explained that this release would be a one-time only event — unless it proves to be popular with subscribers.
“We’re looking at ‘Mulan’ as a one-off, as opposed to saying there’s some new business windowing model that we’re looking at,” Chapek said.
The film industry is struggling under the yoke of the coronavirus, and some studios, like WarnerMedia’s HBOMax, have opted to utilize their streaming services. Traditional streamers like Amazon Prime and Netflix have found great success in premiering big films on their streams, and the industry has taken notice.
Other films have released on video of demand (VOD) since the pandemic, but the rental fees for those films was $20 or so, on average, making Mulan the priciest rental yet.
In addition to the news of Mulan coming to Disney Plus, Chapek also announced that the streaming service had hit 60.5 million subscribers, and touted that Emmy nominations that The Mandalorian recently scored.
Disney’s Mulan is a live action remake of the 1998 animated hit and was directed by Niki Caro on a reported budget of $200 million. It was originally scheduled to hit theaters on March 27, 2020, just as the coronavirus was taking hold in the U.S. The eagerly awaited film stars Donnie Yu, Tzi Ma, Jet Li, Gong Li, Jason Scott, and Liu Yifei as Mulan.
Images courtesy of Disney.