‘Mulan’ Going On Disney+ & Theaters In September; CEO Bob Chepak Says Decision Is A “One-Off”, Not New Windows Model

Updated: On Disney’s 3Q earnings call today, it was announced that Mulan is going to Disney+ on Sept. 4.

Specifically, Disney will be releasing the film theatrically in certain markets where the studio currently has no announced launch plans for Disney+ and where theaters are open (i.e. China). The concern with opening the film in some theaters in the world, and not others, was, of course, piracy-related.

CEO Bob Chepak said it was important to find new avenues of distribution during the pandemic and that “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 Sept. 4, with the price point being $29.99 in the U.S.”

Chepak added during a round of questioning with financial analysts, “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.” What Disney will be keeping an eye on with Mulan is the uptick in subscribers as well as transactions generated on the service with that new price point. So, exhibition, don’t lose your hair yet: Disney isn’t planning to take Black Widow out of theaters this November (at least not yet).

God knows this decision will be a crushing blow for those U.S. movie theaters planning to reopen and in need of a big title. However, no one knows how the big circuits reopening is going to look and perform. Also, New York and California have yet to give a full clearance for hard top cinemas to reopen. There was buzz that Disney could go this way with Mulan, but some believed that they were just waiting to see what went on with Tenet. 

On July 23, Disney took Mulan off the calendar temporarily (its previous date being Aug. 21) as Warner Bros. was pausing their Tenet plans then. It was unfortunate timing by Disney as it was on the same day when AMC announced they’d be reopening slowly around the country by mid-August.

Chepak also mentioned today that global subscribers for Disney+ have reached 60.5M.

 

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