‘Mulan’ premieres on Disney Plus as Streamer surpasses 60.5 million paying subscribers

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Even amid a pandemic that has hit much of its business, including theme parks and studio entertainment, Disney demonstrated the power of its streaming service on Tuesday, releasing huge subscriber numbers and announcing that his tentpole movie “Mulan” will bypass US theaters and go straight to Disney Plus next month.Disney Plus now has more than 60.5 million paying subscribers as of last month, just nine months after the launch of the direct-to-consumer streaming platform. And after several delays in its theatrical release date, Disney CEO Bob Chapek has said that “Mulan” will premiere on the service on a “first access” basis on September 4 for 29.99. $. The film will hit theaters in markets where access to the film on Disney Plus is not available.

Chapek was quick to point out during the call with analysts that the release of “Mulan” on Disney Plus is a one-time event.

“We see ‘Mulan’ as a unique case, rather than saying that there is a new model of enterprise windowing that we are looking at,” he said.

“We find it very interesting to bring a first offer to consumers at that price of $ 29.99 and learn from it,” Chapek said, noting that they would study the number of transactions and the number of subscribers generated by the film.

He also said the first window of access created on Disney Plus for “Mulan” acts as a “big enough incentive” for new consumers to sign up for the streaming service.

Between Disney Plus, Hulu, and ESPN Plus, the company has surpassed 100 million global SVOD subscribers. This made the company “even more confident in our future” and encouraged them to be “more aggressive” with programming. In the latest earnings call, Disney reported 54.5 million subscribers worldwide. Chapek highlighted the 15 Emmy nominations won by the flagship live-action series “Star Wars” of the service “The Mandalorian”.

Hulu’s total subscribers reached 35.5 million as of June 27, up 27% from the quarter last year. Of these subscribers, 3.4 million use the Hulu SVOD service as well as the Hulu Live virtual MVPD service. Hulu Live subscriptions are up from 2.2 million a year ago.

ESPN Plus now has 8.5 million subscribers.

Disney plans to launch an international general consumer entertainment offering under the Star brand in calendar year 2021. Chapek said it will draw content from ABC Studios, FX, Freeform, 20th Century Studios and Searchlight owned by Disney, among other Disney assets.

At this point in the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the company’s direct-to-consumer and international segment is the only division that delivered year-over-year revenue growth in the quarter, increasing 2% to $ 4 billion. The unit generated an operating loss of about $ 706 million, or $ 200 million less than expected, thanks to the growth of Disney Plus and Hulu.

Meanwhile, the normally lucrative parks, experiences and consumer products segment saw its revenue drop 85% to $ 1 billion, while studio entertainment revenue fell 55% to $ 1.7 billion. of dollars. Revenue in the media networking segment slipped 2% to $ 6.6 billion.

Disney’s direct-to-consumer offering is “a top priority and key to the company’s future,” Chapek said on the call.

In the company’s third-quarter tax results, total revenue fell 40% to $ 11.7 billion and diluted earnings per share fell 94% to 8 cents.



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