In a surprising move, Disney Pictures announced that its live-action movie “Mulan” will attempt a daring experiment – a fusion of SVOD and PVOD.
Specifically, the film will premiere both in theaters and on the Disney + streaming service on September 4. However, it won’t be free with the standard Disney + subscription fees that roughly 60.5 million subscribers paid last month. Instead, it will be available on a “first access” basis for a price of US $ 29.99.
Originally slated for March 27, the film was supposed to be one of Mouse House’s biggest (if not THE biggest) theatrical releases this year. However, the COVID-19 pandemic forced Disney to postpone the film to the end of July and then to the end of August, and then they withdrew it indefinitely.
That Disney, the biggest proponent of maintaining the existing theatrical showcase strategy, has chosen to try this is a stark indication that there isn’t much confidence in the prospect of theaters reopening this year at one. scale that supports mega-budget movie making. .
The Niki Caro-headed feature has a major production budget of $ 200 million with stunning battle scenes and lavish sets and costumes. Even when Disney pushed the film through August, Co-Chair Alan Horn said, “Caro, our cast, and our crew have created a beautiful, epic, and moving film that is all that the movie experience should be, and c It’s where we think it belongs – on the global stage and on the big screen for audiences around the world to enjoy together. ”
Even internationally, the mandatory restrictions on cinemas and their potential for maximum capacity are severe enough that major releases may not be able to recoup marketing costs. Disney continues to move forward, however, with plans to release the film in theaters in certain markets where there are no Disney + launch plans announced and where theaters are open.