The Delayed 'Mulan' Now Set for Disney+ and Certain Theaters in September

Mulan' Release Date Changes Again - Variety

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a turbulent time as far as movie releases go. Early on, Disney made the decision to release Pixar’s Onward on Disney+ shortly after it had been put in theaters. Since then, they have had to push back Marvel films, the next of which was supposed to be Black Widow

And of course, Disney has had to delay the release of a live-action remake of 1998’s Mulan. The film was slated for a worldwide March 27 release, before being rescheduled for July 24 and then August 21. On July 23, the title was removed from Disney’s release schedule, signaling that its release would be delayed again. Some even speculated that it might not see a worldwide release until 2021.

With Tuesday bringing us Disney’s Q3 earnings call with CEO Bob Chapek, we now have clarification as to what the release plans are now for the film. The aim is for Mulan to be released on Disney+ in certain markets, as well as in open theatrical markets overseas where theaters are open (such as China) and Disney+ is absent. Undoubtedly, piracy is a concern in the making of these decisions. During the earnings call, Bob Chapek explained, “in the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, and number of countries, we will be offering on Disney+, the epic Mulan on a premiere access beginning September 4, with the price point being $29.99 in the U.S.”

So far, the practice has been that once one pays for a Disney+ subscription, they have access to all of the content that is available on the streaming service. This would certainly be a change, creating another paywall for those who would want to watch the one movie. This brings to question whether this may happen with other films that Disney has had to delay. However, Chapek added the following: “We’re pleased to bring Mulan to a consumer base that’s been waiting for it as we’ve had to move our (release) dates several times…We’re looking at Mulan as a one-off as opposed trying to say that there’s a new business windowing model.”

It sounds like this is, as of now, intended to be a one-time occurrence. Of course, the company will be monitoring how this new addition may affect the number of subscribers, as well as how many people actually decide to pay the extra money to watch the film. Chapek had more to say about the pricing:
 “as you know it’s fairly expensive to produce for consumers the quality we’re known for. Rather than simply rolling (the movie) into a free offering, we thought we can test anything when you have your own platform. We’re trying to establish a new premiere access window to capture that investment we got (in the film). We’ll have a chance to learn from this. From our research under a premiere access offering, not only does it get us revenue from our original transaction of PVOD, but it’s a fairly large stimulus to sign up for Disney+.”

With there being so many unknown factors in the US theatrical market, it makes sense that the film would be put on streaming rather than in those theaters. The question of what is to become of the US theatrical market continues. Plus, it will certainly be interesting to see how this decision to put Mulan on Disney+ for an extra fee will affect the future. $29.99 may seem like a lot for just one person to see the film. If it is for a whole family to watch, then it may seem justified, if one compares it to the experience of bringing a family to see the film. If there are die hard Mulan (1998) fans who are not put off by the idea of seeing this live action interpretation, then they will probably show their support. The number of people who will follow through with that is an unknown for now, and one can only speculate what changes big or small may come from this.
Source(s): Deadline