Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most movie theatres around the world remain closed. This has forced movie studios to keep pushing back releases, which Disney has done with Mulan. Now it seems Disney has had enough waiting and will release the movie on Disney+ for an extra cost.
On September 4th, Disney will release Mulan on Disney+ for a cost of $29.99 (expect it to be priced between £25-£30 in the UK). It's unclear at this time if this offer is a rental or purchase, or if a Disney+ subscription is required. We'll update when we know more.
On the Disney earnings call, CEO Bob Chapek was asked about this move, which will likely anger movie theatres.
On the fundamental question of whether Mulan could have been dropped into the base Disney Plus offering rather than at a premium - and thus drive ARPU (average revenue per user) rather than incremental revenue - Chapek says as is well known, Disney's tentpoles "can be fairly expensive to make and produce, to get the quality" expected by Disney and consumers. Rather than just roll it into a free offering, "we thought we would give it a try ... to try to recapture some of that investment that we've got."
"We're gonna have a chance to learn from this," Chapeak notes, adding that the $30 premium access price not only offers Disney revenue from the transaction but "also acts as a fairly large stimulus to sign up for Disney Plus."