Thursday 6 August 2020

Mulan on Disney+ is a 'one-off' this September

The longterm socio-economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic are yet to be fully determined in the wake of our shared trauma. As countries emerge from lockdown, it's increasingly clear that life will never be the same for any of us - heartfelt sympathies to those who have lost loved ones.

Cinema chains that have reopened, with social distancing measures in place, are struggling to entice large scale audiences back. So much so, AMC and Universal Pictures have struck a deal that would shorten the established theatrical window to just 17 days before new movies are available to stream online, at a premium price, with revenue sharing for both companies.

Disney has decided to drop the delayed live-action adaptation of Mulan onto Disney+ and into selected cinemas from 4th September. Disney CEO Bob Chapek explains why:

"We’re very pleased to be able to bring Mulan to our consumer base that’s been waiting for it for a long, long time, as we’ve had to unfortunately had to move our theatrical date several times. We’re fortunate that we have the opportunity to bring it to our own direct-to-consumer platform so consumers can enjoy it. But we’re looking at Mulan as a one-off, as opposed to trying to say there’s a new business windowing model that we’re looking at. So Mulan is a one-off. That said, we find it very interesting to be able to take a new offering, our premiere access offering, to consumers at that $29.99 price, and learn from it and see what happens not only in terms of the uptake of the number of the subscribers that we get on that platform, but the actual number of transactions we get on the Disney+ platform that we get on that PVOD offering."

Is this truly a one-off? Disney's decision cements a new era in vertical distribution for the House of Mouse. The studio previously released Artemis Fowl and brought Frozen 2, Onward and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker to the streaming service early for those self-isolating. And Marvel Studio's Black Widow maybe next as we continue to live with coronavirus lockdowns in the 'new normal'.

Are you happy to pay a premium to see movies at home? Let me know in the comments below.

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