After months of being delayed, Disney's live-action Mulan is finally getting a new release date and a COVID-conscious way to watch. On 4 Aug., Deadline reported that the Niki Caro-directed film will be released on a "premiere access basis" on Disney+ starting 4 Sept.. The film will still be released theatrically, but only in markets where theatres are actually open and where the studio has no announced launch plans for Disney+.
Disney CEO Bob Chepak made sure to stress that the streamer release of Mulan is a one-time event. "We're looking at Mulan as a one-off, as opposed to saying there's some new business windowing model that we're looking at," he said.
The film will be available for $29.99 (£22), a price point that will allow the studio to observe any rises in subscribers. "Rather than simply rolling (the movie) into a free offering, we thought we can test anything when you have your own platform. We're trying to establish a new premiere access window to capture that investment we got (in the film)," he explained. "We'll have a chance to learn from this. From our research under a premiere access offering, not only does it get us revenue from our original transaction of PVOD, but it's a fairly large stimulus to sign up for Disney+."
As of now, Disney hasn't revealed any plans to move its other releases out of theatres and onto the streamer — Black Widow is still slated for theatrical release on 7 Nov.. Hopefully, Mulan's online release will motivate the studios (and others) to realise the fruitfulness of streamer releases while we're all staying at home!