In a move not many saw coming, Disney has announced that Mulan will skip out on its planned theatrical release and head straight to the House of Mouse’s streaming platform, Disney Plus. However, subscribers will have to pay a premium rental price for it.
According to Variety, the live-action remake will be premiering on Disney Plus on the 4th of September. Consumers in the United States and other territories will have to pay $US 29.99 to rent the movie — and this is on top of the streaming service’s monthly subscription fee of $US 6.99. Disney believes that this will be a great way to test just how much people are willing to fork out to watch a film that was made with the intention of a big-screen release.
Interestingly enough, Mulan will still be released in cinemas in markets where Disney Plus is unavailable. It’s currently unclear when exactly the streaming platform will be available in Malaysia, but there are some reports that suggest that Disney Plus will arrive at the shores of this region by the middle of next year. So, I guess as it stands, Mulan will be hitting Malaysian cinemas.
For now, Disney CRO Bob Chapek says the move to debut Mulan on the small screen isn’t indicative of a new business model that’s in the works at the company.
“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 Tuesday on the company’s earnings call.
It’s difficult to take Chapek’s word at face value. Chapek along with the rest of the higher-ups at Disney will be keeping a close eye on the rent that Mulan yields. If the numbers are promising, we should expect Disney to release more films straight onto their streaming platform. While the giant MCU movies will still be released in theatres, everything else is fair game.