At long last, the live-action Mulan is going to be released, but not in the way you might have expected.
As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to make the movie industry an uncertainty, Disney is going to try something new by its own standards. The film will release theatrically in regions such as Asia, but in the U.S. it will be coming to Disney Plus as part of a new Premium Tier.
Announced during its earnings call on Tuesday, Disney stated that Mulan will arrive on Disney Plus on Sept. 4, but it won’t be included automatically. It will be an additional purchase of $29.99.
“We see this as an opportunity to bring this incredible film to a broad audience, currently unable to go to movie theaters, while also further enhancing the value and attractiveness of a Disney+ subscription with this great content,” said Disney CEO Bob Chapek.
Disney announced on Tuesday that Disney Plus has already hit 60.5M subscribers in just eight months, placing it well ahead of schedule. The original projections had it hitting 60 to 90M in 2024.
The announcement that Disney Plus will now have a premium tier certainly makes one wonder what else the company could have planned. Black Widow has also been pushed back considerably and would seem like another prime target.
While we don’t expect Disney to do this with every movie, this is definitely a test for potential new models of hybrid releases. If it fails, then only one film falls victim, but if it does even moderately well, then Disney has a potential path for further testing and releases.
Will consumers be willing to pay a premium price on top of their monthly subscription price for a streaming service? We’re about to find out.