After months of being shuttered, movie theaters, including locations from major chains like AMC and Regal, are starting to open back up, with new health and safety precautions in place for those who’d itching to see something like The New Mutants and Tenet on the big screen. However, rather than move forward with a traditional theatrical release stateside, Disney has opted to make the live-action remake of Mulan available to Disney+ subscribers for $30 instead starting tomorrow.
Rather than criticize this decision in a recent interview, AMC Theatres CEO Adam Aron sounded understanding about why Disney is taking this streaming approach with Mulan. As Aron put it:
Just like AMC is under duress, Disney’s under pressure too, and at some point they’ve got to monetize their movie product.
However, that’s not to say that Adam Aron didn’t offer any advice to Disney while speaking with Variety. You’ll recall that earlier this year, after Universal Pictures decided to simultaneously release Trolls World Tour in theaters and on VOD, AMC Theatres threatened not to screen anymore Universal movies if the studio kept going with this same date release model. Months later, Universal and AMC buried the proverbial hatchet and arranged a deal that shortened the minimum exclusive theatrical window for Universal movies in AMC theaters from 90 days to just 17 days, and AMC would receive a share of the PVOD sales.
Adam Aron expects this kind of model will become the “industry standard” in the future, and suggested that Disney would adopt a similar model going forward. Of course, not everyone was pleased by the Universal/AMC deal, as Cineworld CEO Mooky Greidinger made it clear that his cinema chain would not be following that model and would continue following the traditional theatrical window. So evidently there are kinks that need to be worked out if this is to come anywhere close to becoming the new norm.
Going into 2020, the plan was for Mulan to play in theaters starting March 27, and the world premiere was even held in Los Angeles on March 9. However, due to the global health crisis, Mulan’s release date was pushed to July 24 and then moved back to August 24 before being taken off the calendar altogether. Mulan will still have a theatrical run in various other countries, but if you live in the United States, you’ll need to have access to Disney+.
Mulan’s Disney+ Premier Access will allow those who pay $30 to watch the movie to their heart’s content until November 2. That being said, it was revealed yesterday that Mulan will be available to all Disney+ subscribers starting December 4 for no additional cost. So whether you want to watch Mulan instantly or are willing to wait a bit, as long as you have Disney+, you’ll be catch it before 2020 is over.