Yahoo Finance's Alexandra Canal breaks down how Beyoncé's new visual album 'Black is King' performed on Disney+, while the company announced that its live-action 'Mulan' film will bypass the theatrical experience and head straight to Disney+ as a premium VOD offering at $30.
ZACK GUZMAN: Disney, we saw shares rise as much as 10% after they reported earnings, as. I noted, a pretty large loss there when you think about the quarter, the losing of $4.7 billion. But the optimism offered to investors on the streaming front, as we saw Disney Plus subscribers grow to 60.5 million after just nine months of operating the streaming platform, and also offering a very interesting twist here in terms of what they're going to be offering on the Disney Plus platform when it comes to "Mulan," charging people $30.
They've also got other things out there, including Beyonce's new-- I don't want to call it a hit, per se, but Beyonce's new "Black is King." And here to discuss that with us is Yahoo Finance's Alexandra Canal. And Alexandra, when we look at it, I guess Beyonce's "Black is King" is not necessarily delivering the viewership that you might expect for the queen.
ALEXANDRA CANAL: Right. And Beyonce's "Black is King," it's a new visual album. It dropped on Disney Plus on Friday. And it was widely expected to do incredibly well. One of the songs that is featured in the film, "Brown Skinned Girl, won a BET Award. Beyonce's daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, makes several guest appearances.
And like you said, it's Beyonce. You expect that anything that woman touches turns to gold here. But according to new data by Seven Part, it seems like the film did not do as well as expected. So if we look at some of the top titles on Disney Plus, from August 1st to August 3rd, we'll see that "Black is King" doesn't even crack the top five.
At number one, we have "The Incredibles 2," followed by "Frozen 2," "The Muppets," "Hamilton"-- that musical really holding its own one month after its July 3rd debut. It's doing bonkers on the platform. But "Black is King" finishes off all the way at number 10, attracting less than 4% of total users.
And then if we look at time spent on the Disney Plus platform, it finishes off even lower coming in at that number 13 spot, with users only spending about 2.2% of their time watching that film. But again, take a look at what finishes at number 1. It is Hamilton at 22%. And this just seems to be the gift that keeps on giving for Disney Plus. The success of Hamilton is pushing executives to look at some other musicals out there to see what could be adapted for the streaming service. "Once on This Island" is reportedly one show that is being looked at.
But I wouldn't be surprised if we saw more and more of this, especially as Broadway remains shut down due to the coronavirus, those ballooning ticket prices. I just think people want to watch those shows within the comfort of their own homes rather than paying hundreds of dollars to go see it in New York City, especially during this time.
ZACK GUZMAN: Yeah, no, for sure. I mean, not even an option at this time, for sure. But when we think about, also, options being taken off the table, theaters not exactly a place you can go right now. So when we think about that, Disney also offering the interesting update on their earnings call to say that "Mulan" is going to be coming to Disney Plus directly, not in theaters. And it's going to cost people who even subscribe already an additional $30 to watch that one.
And I think that this is something really that deserves a closer look when we think about how much this could offer the company. And the discussions we've had on this show about theaters and what could come there, obviously, they're saying that this is not really something that they should expect or investors should suspect for all of their releases. But if it goes well, I don't think it's outside of the question or outside of the box here to think that they might just want to do that if they can keep all their revenue versus just about the 60% cut they normally do in sharing the other 40 with theaters. Why would this not be a huge boost for Disney?
ALEXANDRA CANAL: You're absolutely right. This is a big deal. "Mulan" is skipping the theatrical experience entirely. It's going to go direct to Disney Plus as a premium DOD offering. $30 a pop, like you said. And we were discussing this, Zack, at our meeting this morning. Some people thought $30 is a little much, especially if you're already a paying Disney Plus subscriber.
But others said, you know what, this is actually pretty cheap. It would cost you way more to take your entire family to the movies to see "Mulan. But this is a big deal for the company. It's a big deal for the stock. The stock is up nearly 10% on the news. And another thing that seems to be adding to investor sentiment is the fact that Disney said that across all of its streaming services, they now have 100 million paid subscribers, the bulk of those coming from Disney Plus.
During its earnings report yesterday, we heard from the company that, last quarter, Disney Plus added about 57.5 million users. That was slightly below Bloomberg consensus estimates. But still, this is a mega number. Disney Plus seems to be doing everything right so far.
It is a big blow to movie theaters. I, for one, am shocked that "Mulan" is going direct to Disney Plus. I thought, even if this was well into 2021, Disney would wait to have this film be in the theater. It just strikes me as a theatrical film, with the big screen, the loud noises. And now, that's just not going to happen.
Maybe, potentially, when theaters open, it will be re-released in the theater. But I don't see how people are going to go and watch that film in the theater, especially if they already paid the $30 to watch it on Disney Plus. So again, an uncertain future for theaters, especially during this time. We'll see if this strategy changes once the coronavirus ends.
But it might not. This might start a new normal for the company, especially, as I said, if they can keep all that revenue.
ZACK GUZMAN: Definitely not going to change. I think we should just call it. We should call right now, just call the theaters--
ALEXANDRA CANAL: No!
ZACK GUZMAN: --see what's coming out.
ALEXANDRA CANAL: Don't do it!
ZACK GUZMAN: There's no way they go back. I mean, this is huge. And I think we're seeing that play out in the stock right now. And obviously, when this comes out, we'll have the update. But "Mulan," $30. And I think it's a steal.