For those of you who have been wondering whether or not Disney’s live-action Mulan remake would hit streaming or not, it’s seemed that the answer was a big hefty no for the longest time. But today, that tune has changed as it has been announced that Mulan will be going to Disney+ on September 4th. However, there’s a pretty big twist on that tale, as subscribers will have to pay an added cost to get exclusive access, and there is a theatrical component in the works as well.
Per the news during today’s Disney earnings call, Mulan will be exclusively available for Premium VOD rental through Disney+, at the cost of $29.99 per rental. However, much like the strategy earmarked for Warner Bros’ blockbuster Tenet, Mulan will also be headed to theaters at the same time, where possible. So while director Niki Caro’s reimagining of the 1998 Disney classic is going to become a lot more accessible than it would be in the current climate, there’s still a catch that could lead to even more interesting developments.
The first big catch is the fact that while Mulan is going to be available as a Premium VOD rental, that $29.99 is on top of Disney+ subscription dues one will need to have access to that rental. So the ability to rent Mulan for an added fee is an exclusive perk of being a Disney+ member; which probably has yearly subscription members patting themselves on the back. Though don’t expect other huge titles like Marvel’s Black Widow to get a similar approach, as Disney CEO Bob Chapek stipulated Mulan’s recent course correction as a “one-off” sort of scenario that the studio is engaging in as the top brass are interested to see how this experiment does.
Another big picture to consider is how earlier this year Universal and AMC had a huge falling out, and eventual agreement pertaining to their recent pattern of releasing films like Trolls: World Tour and The High Note into Premium VOD debuts. That recent deal saw studio and theater chain agreeing that the traditional exhibition window could be shortened to 17 days, with AMC getting a piece of the profits made by Universal’s PVOD rentals. Which leads to the next big question everyone probably has at this moment: has Disney made a similar negotiation with theater chains pertaining to Mulan’s debut?
The greatest question is ultimately the one that’s thrown to the open market, which is will Disney+ subscribers pay the premium rental fee, on top of their subscription dues, to see Mulan in the privacy of their own home? If not, we just might see that October 27th date previously speculated for Mulan’s addition to the Disney+ streaming library being upheld, seeing as the film will have already been in theaters and engaged in a Premium VOD release. That is something we’ll get to see on a greater scale when Mulan premieres, in theaters and on Disney+ Premium VOD, on September 4th.