Disney plans digital debut for ‘Mulan’

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Walt Disney will come Mulan online for $ 30 in September, dealing a blow to theaters that relied on the blockbuster movie to bring people back to the movies.

The move comes as Disney and other major Hollywood studios have been forced to repeatedly postpone their films as the coronavirus pandemic continues in the United States, leaving theaters largely closed in the world’s largest film market. .

Disney last month said it would postpone MulanThe theatrical debut on August 21 without giving a new date, fueling speculation the company would release it online instead.

Mulan will be available for purchase on Disney + on September 4 in the US, Canada and Western Europe. Bob Chapek, CEO of Disney, described the decision to bring the film online as a “one-off” rather than a change in strategy.

The media giant revealed its plans, reporting a loss of $ 4.7 billion in the June quarter. The company said its theme parks division earmarked $ 3.5 billion in operating profit from its theme parks, as the pandemic ended its once-lucrative business.

Disney’s quarterly figures must have been ugly, for three months in which Covid-19 bruised almost everything it does except video streaming. It has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic as it has depended on its theme parks and blockbuster movies to generate profit even as mainstream media has shrunk.

Total revenue for the June quarter fell 42% year-over-year to $ 11.8 billion, while adjusted profit fell 94% year-over-year to 8 cents per action. Analysts were looking for revenue of $ 12.4 billion and an adjusted loss of 63 cents per share.

The results were weighed down by Disney theme parks, where doors around the world were mostly closed. The Parks unit posted an operating loss of $ 2 billion, while revenue fell 85 percent year-over-year to $ 983 million in the quarter.

On a call with investors, Chapek sought reassurance that Disney would survive the “devastating” pandemic. He pointed to the company’s only bright spot, its Disney + streaming service, which benefited from the stay-at-home era.

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The flagship video streaming service has reached 60.5 million subscribers, said Chapek, just nine months after its launch.

“Despite the lingering challenges of the pandemic, we have continued to build on the incredible success of Disney +,” said Chapek, the former head of theme parks who was promoted to general manager in February.

As the streaming business grows rapidly, it generates losses. Disney’s direct-to-consumer business unit posted an operating loss of $ 706 million in the quarter on revenue of $ 4 billion.

Disney shares rose 5% in after-hours trading, after Mr Chapek announced the Mulan news. Shares of theater operators fell, including a drop of 4% for Cinemark and 1.5% for AMC.

Even though the pandemic continues in the United States, Disney’s action has held up well. The company’s shares have climbed more than 10% in the past three months.

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