In a screenshot captured by entertainment news website Screen Rant, the pre-order page for the highly anticipated movie stated, “Watch before its release to all Disney+ subscribers on December 4, 2020. Watch as many times as you like with Premier Access and your Disney+ subscription.”
The movie was originally set for a theatrical release but has been postponed multiple times due to the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier this month, the multibillion-dollar media company announced “Mulan” will make its debut on Disney+.
“We're looking at ‘Mulan’ as a one-off in terms of – as opposed to, say, trying to say that there's some new business windowing model that we're looking at,” said Bob Chapek, the CEO of The Walt Disney Company, in the fiscal year’s third-quarter earnings conference call.
“Mulan” will become available on Disney’s streaming service starting on Sept. 4 for the price of $29.99. This price is in addition to the monthly cost of $6.99 for a single Disney+ subscription, which allows up to seven profiles per account.
However, based on the language used in the screenshot captured by Screen Rant, which now seems to be updated to not mention Dec. 4 – watching the movie without the near $30 Premier Access fee could be a possibility after three months or so.
FOX Business reached out to Disney+ to confirm whether or not all subscribers will be able to watch “Mulan” after Dec. 4 but representatives at the company did not immediately respond.
Disney is not the only media company that has had to resort to video-on-demand service in the age of the coronavirus.
Back in April, Universal Pictures premiered its DreamWorks animated sequel “Trolls World Tour” as a 48-hour digital rental for $19.99. The move initially angered executives at AMC Theaters who vowed to ban Universal’s movies after the theater bypassing premiere of “Trolls.”
By July, both companies reached a new agreement that shortens theatrical exclusivity to 17 days. After that timeframe, movies from Universal can be sold or rented on digital streaming platforms as it had done with “Trolls.”
Disney has not received the same level of scrutiny for its decision to move “Mulan” to a digital premiere.
“Just like AMC is under duress, Disney’s under pressure too, and at some point they’ve got to monetize their movie product,” AMC CEO Adam Aron said in the company’s second-quarter earnings call. “They have a huge slate coming for the balance of 2020. We will benefit mightily from Disney titles in 2020, with or without ‘Mulan.’ So we fully understand that we – what they did.”