Disney is slashing the age-old theatrical window to ribbons: The much-anticipated live-action remake of Mulan is skipping theaters in the U.S. and debuting on Disney+ on Friday, Sept. 4… for an additional $29.99 fee, that is.
The news was announced during Disney’s earnings call on Tuesday, our sister site Variety reports. Mulan — based on the 1998 animated film and starring Liu Yifei as the titular girl who poses as a boy to take her father’s place in China’s imperial army — was originally slated to be released in theaters back in March, but was delayed due to the global coronavirus pandemic. A new premiere date was announced and then moved back several more times, until it was removed from Disney’s release calendar altogether last month. (The film is still expected to premiere in theaters internationally.)
Mulan is one of the highest-profile theatrical films to go straight to a streaming service or VOD this year in response to the coronavirus outbreak, which has claimed nearly 160,000 lives in the U.S. alone. The Tom Hanks-starring World War II drama Greyhound, once bound for theaters, premiered on Apple TV+ last month, while movies like Trolls World Tour and The Invisible Man became available on VOD months ahead of schedule.
Disney is upping the ante, though, with the hefty $29.99 price tag for Mulan. Other early VOD arrivals from major studios have been charging $19.99 at most for the convenience of watching a new Hollywood release from the comfort of your couch. But Disney CEO Bob Chapek emphasizes that this isn’t the start of a trend: “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.”
At this point will wait for it to appear on VOD…
I don’t understand why Disney+ is so cheap in the first place (you’d spend more money just buying one DVD a month or going to a theatre that has $5 Tuesday with two people), and I was also surprised they released Onward for free. Might as well make back some of their money!
i recently read that they have over 70 million subscribers so i think they are probably making a good penny. especially since most of the content is just stuff from the vault
Ha they funny!!! Naw fam..I’m good
If I’m gonna pay $30 to see it, I’ll wait and get it on Blu-ray. At least that way I own something for the price.
But if you go to the movies, you are paying for not owning. And paying probably more than $30.
With Disney+, it’s $30 for unlimited watches and as many as you want can watch it.
If you are going to use that argument about owning, then you must not go the movies.
but as soon as you stop paying the monthly disney+ sub you lose it all…
I pay at the cinema for a huge screen and dolby surround. They have shot themselves in the foot with this pricing. Going for $15 would have been palatable to a lot more people, sure more than twice as many. $30 is prohibitive esp for single households, couple households for a lesser experience.
I agree. Buying the bluray is smarter use of the money.
For me, the whole experience of going to a theater and eating out after is worth it. Sitting at home to watch it once is not. You said you can watch multiple times –but everyone else here is saying you only get to see it once for that price. I don’t have Disney+ so I don’t know.
I probably agree with your first part. For this movie at least. As for the second it’s been reported that for that price you can watch the movie as many times as you want as long as you still have Disney+. Which really means you’ll get access to it until everyone who has Disney+ has access to it when they make it a regular offering on the site. (Which may be longer if they’re making money off of it being exclusive).
Not worth it at 1/3 the price, even 1/6 the price! Probably not worth it for free!
Twenty bucks, maybe. Thirty bucks — a big NO.
The film had a budget of $200 million. And $30 might be a little steep, but us probably the number that calculated to recoup some of the budget. At this point Disney knows they won’t be able to recoup the costs.
Thats 6.6 million purchases worldwide at $30 to make $200m. Thats not that many to just break even. At $15 a pop its 13.2 million.
How many people live in china?
Who on earth is possibly going to pay that? What are they thinking?
For a family, spending $30 in theaters is getting off cheap. So if you’re already a Disney+ subscriber, and you want to do a family movie night, this is a bargain.
But if you’re not a family — if you’re a single, or have A-List or similar theater’s program that costs under $30 a month for multiple movies, or a couple that goes to a location/time when tickets are under $10, or if you typically skip on the overpriced garbage at the concession stand — you’re getting hosed. Might as well just wait for Blu-Ray, which will probably cost less than $30 and not expire. I thought the $20 other studios were doing was pushing it, but this is ridiculous. And shows that Disney couldn’t care less about customers who aren’t a family of 4+
Yes, the $30 is a bargain compared to going to the theater. BUT eventually it will be on Disney+ at no additional cost and eventually it will be released on DVD/blu-ray for the same price or cheaper. With lots of families pinching pennies these days, $30 for a 24 or 28 hour rental is insane. Most families I know (mine included) can wait a few months to either own the disc for the same cost or watch it on Disney+ without shelling out more money.
If you have Disney+, it’s not a rental. You can watch as many times as you like.
This is a steal no matter how you spin it. Single people still pay that $30 for a ticket, food, gas, taxes, etc. And that’s for one viewing.
This is a steal easy
Eh. It’s a rental till it appears on Disney+ full time for everyone. Ticket under $15 for almost everyone and way under for some, so you need at least 3 people watching. Food isn’t paid for at home either by Disney. No gas, but playing for electricity, internet, tv, sound system, etc. Taxes?
Yes, you get more than one viewing, but for less money you could own it forever, not just a few months. (Or at least till the tech of that medium is left behind). It’s not a slam dunk, it’s borderline.
The rest of the world, outside the USA and Mexico/South America anyway, are getting ready to reopen. Ergo, their theaters will need content. Disney doesn’t want to release this in theaters abroad if they can’t release in the USA. But USA theaters won’t reopen, en masse, this calendar year. Maybe not well into 2021.
But Disney definitely wants to start making money outside the USA. So they are going to start releasing the WILDLY popular films it has done. Mulan was predicted to be one of the biggest earners, ever, in China. And they are about to reopen. MCU films, like Black Widow, are very popular everywhere in the world. They don’t want to wait for the USA to get its poop together so we can open up.
This is the solution. Charge a fortune in the USA for VOD, and release normally everywhere else.
G-Dam this disease, and the USA’s horrible reaction to it.
It’s not just the US. Disney is doing this in other countries as well. The countries that will get it theatrically are the ones without Disney+.
I didn’t like the original and liked the second one even less. I have Disney+ but wasn’t planning to watch this anyway, even for free. Ive been really disappointed with the amount of new offerings available. I probably only check about twice a month to see what has been added and am usually disappointed.
As for watching it as many times as you want, unless you have kids that insist on watching the same movie over and over again, I don’t see this as a problem as I think most people would be able to wait to watch it again until it becomes part of the regular free movies a few months down the road.
I’m glad I don’t live in an area that charges $30 to see a movie in a theater. I don’t care what the movie is, it’s not worth $30! I go to matinees for $10.
Ditto. Matinees for less than 10$ (thought not much less), and I mule in a water bottle and snacks.
No thanks, I’ll pass. I’d probably prefer the cartoon version anyways.
If it had Mushu, I would have paid $FIFTY. But no mushu, no watch.
I am guessing you are not Chinese. Because most of us found him somewhere between embarrassing and offensive.
I don’t blame Eddie Murphy for being Eddie Murphy; I blame the Disney formula machine of that era.
Well congratulations because you got an entire film tailor made for your people. One carefully crafted to appease Chinese sensibilities, moral standards, but ultimately your money.
Embarrassing why? It’s the formula, sure, but what makes it any different than any other Disney flick? There aren’t talking crabs, or (really) talking parrots, or talking snowmen, or raccoons/hummingbirds, chameleon/horses, reindeer, strange chickens, or any of the other many animal/mythical creature sidekicks. If all those cultures could handle it, I’m sure the Chinese culture can too.
For me the deal breaker is no “Make a Man Out of You”
So for you the deal breaker was removing a misogynist comment?
No, a misogynistic song.
It’s not misogynistic when you actually include the context of the events of that montage and film. You’re reducing it down to something that isn’t actually accurate. But in today’s age where context and critical thinking skills are lax in most people I’m not surprised.
Mysoginistic means strongly prejudiced against women. It’s the textbook definition of misogynistic. That’s being said the song is catchy as hell and I like that part of the movie. I was just commenting that the OP was referring to a song and not a single line.
@Gern Blanston I know the definition of misogyny. And no, it isn’t a textbook example. Especially since it’s being sung to & about men. Maybe rewatch the film and pay closer attention this time. Particularly that montage sequence the song is sung over. Then pay attention to the reprisal later in the film.
The song is about how in order to win the battle the soldiers can’t be weak like women. “Did they send me daughters when I asked for sons”. The rest of the song is in reference to this line at the start of the song. Don’t be be a woman, be a man is the message of the song. For someone so quick to rip on people for lack of critical thinking skills you’re awfully eager to display your lacking in that department.
Yes, that may be the point of the song. But one of the main points of the movie is that some people think women are weak and helpless, and Mulan proves them all wrong.
In order to show that the characters have been changed by Mulan, the audience sees how the characters are at the start (“Make a Man out of You” song), and how those same characters are at the end (following Mulan’s plan, beating the villains, and watching the Emperor honor Mulan and bow to her). Having that song in the beginning allows the audience to see growth and change in the other characters.
Or, you know, just ignore all that and bash the song to feel better about yourself.
That’s a bit exorbitant, don’t you think?
No, for $30 I will pass.
Will not be a one time fee or do you have to pay each time you want to watch it?
Yeah, that’s my question. Is this a one-time rental, or do we own it forever for $30?
I’m assuming it’s a one time fee. They are calling it a rental.
It’s not a rental for Disney+ subscribers. You can keep watching as many times as you like.
This is a steal easy.
People pay $30 or more for single views at the movies. Not even including food,gas, etc.
People can also just wait to spend that $30 on the Blu-ray+DVD+Digital home video release and never have to worry about the day Disney decides they want to remove the movie from their digital platform.
Once you purchase Mulan, you will have access to it as long as you’re a subscriber.
As long they they offer it on their digital platform. So if they continue to offer everything forever and don’t start pulling things like they did their home media for times, so they can get people to re-up who left to watch things that weren’t offered during the month they joined. (Which is the danger of all digital versions, not just this).
But in any case you don’t get it forever for your $30…you’re just renting it for the time it’s NOT offered on Disney+. X months. At that point everyone gets it for as long as they’re a subscriber, for free after the regular membership price. Which you have to pay to pay the $30 bucks anyway. So it’s $7 later or $37 now for a limited amount of time, plus the same $7 a month to keep access to it.
“new business windowing model that we’re looking at.”
We’re searching for new ways to screw you and you not being bitchy about it.
I’M SORRY FOR THE LANGUAGE, BUT YOU KNOW I’M RIGHT!
I bought a projector and have done a few socially distant backyard movie nights.
If my friends split the cost with me, then maybe.
You don’t have friends
Don’t give the Chinese any money
Fine for families, absolutely horrible price for singles, people who have AMC A-List, or go at times when ticket prices are less than $10. Not everyone is a family with 2.5 kids that spend a ton of money on candy and popcorn.
Bummer. I was really looking forward to seeing this on the big screen, even if I had to wait til 2021. Will still rent it, just won’t be the same.
I get it. $30 feels like a lot, but if you’re a family that’s way cheaper than a theater. I personally wish Disney would just continue holding off until theaters are open again, but I get these are weird times. Mulan was supposed to make major money for them, so of course they’re going to try and make up for that. It is what it is in this the year of 2020.
Oh my. That’s a lot. If I still had little people and we were all going to the movies, yes, would be less. But when you go to the theater, it’s about the big screen experience. Paying $30 to see it on my TV at home. We will wait, especially since we have Disney+. I do get it, though. Trying to recoup some of the massively lost revenue from this year. Final note: if you were going to DisneyWorld, $30 WOULD be a massive bargain! Ha!
Ridiculously high price glad I’m out of USA and get to hopefully watch in cinema still when such things aloud.
I’ll stick to the animated movie which is already on Disney+ without the additional cost. It should be free for Disney+ subscribers. So now Disney+ will have a section of PPV films especially, if the the theaters continue to remain closed for the foreseeable future.
Too expensive for me as a single viewer.
Where do you live? Ticket for me is $13 or more with taxes. Food is another $15. Movie expenses are expensive. Not even including gas.
For a single viewer, and if you have Disney+, this is still a steal. $30 to watch as many times as you’d like and have ad many people as you like watch it.
Do you work for Disney?
And is Disney sending you some free food when you watch this? Because then your reasoning makes some sense.
Nothing they said was wrong. Regular movie tickets in my city are around $14 a piece before taxes and a single popcorn and a drink from concessions will set you back another $15. Going to the movies *is* expensive.
Sure, and so is this. People have all sorts of different prices for tickets, at different times of day and days of the week, and location. But no matter where you’re going to see movies getting food is going to be extra. $15? Sure. But Disney isn’t given you any free food to watch it at home, so any food is still going to cost you more money. It’s no more free at home than it is at the theater. Cheaper? Possibly. But if you buy 0 food at the theater, and buy 0 food at home, it costs the exact same. If you want to make your own popcorn and drink your own pop, yeah, that should be cheaper. But it’s still not an inherent cost of the showing. The only comparison that matters is how many tickets you could get with $30 in your area. That could be 2…or 6. And that’s how many people you need to have watch it with you. (Also the matter that you could own the thing for that much at some point too, and how many people you’d bring to watch it, and how many times you’d watch it….)
Mulan has that type of following to warrant a $30 up charge?? I could see maybe Beauty and the Beast, Lion King or Aladdin but I haven’t heard much talk about that one other than getting a new release date every other month. Hard Pass.
For multiple viewers at one time, this is a great idea. For the individual viewer, it’s waay too much. I don’t even pay 30 bucks for TWO tickets at the theater. 30 bucks, I’ll wait for bluray release, at least there’ll be behind the scenes and special features that would make that much worth it.
Sure it may be a bargain for families, but it’s also not a theater experience. That’s what you pay the money for. The insanely large screen, the super comfy leather recliners, the surround sound. So unless you’re a family who has that in your house to me it seems insane to charge that. In any case, they won’t see big ticket sales globally either. Even if most European and Asian countries open up, things are still tenuous at best, new cases are still happening and until the vaccine is widespread, nothing will be making a ton of money.
Obviously, with movie releases uncertain for the foreseeable future, and with releases like Trolls World Tour doing better business on VOD than they probably would have done in theaters, Disney’s taking a shot at a new release model. If it works they’ll do it with other films: if not, they gave it a shot. We’ll see…