This year has sucked for everyone thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, and though billions of people have been affected, business owners are among those most vulnerable to the devastating economic effects of the outbreak. Many businesses around the world have either remained closed or are operating on a very safety-first basis that has impacted their ability to generate the same level of profit they once did.
One such business has been movie theaters, which have largely remained shut down throughout the outbreak, leading most analysts to believe that major chains like AMC Theatres may not even survive if things don’t improve rapidly. This is especially true thanks to major studios opting to release their films digitally at an increased cost to consumers.
That’s the choice Disney recently made for their upcoming live-action remake of Mulan, which will now be coming exclusively to Disney Plus on September 4th for an additional fee of $29.99. The cost will allow subscribers to continue accessing the film for as long as they have an active subscription to the service, but the high price and lack of permanent ownership has received plenty of backlash from consumers.
Unsurprisingly, this business decision hasn’t gone over well with theater owners, either. In fact, one theater owner in particular has recently shown his displeasure with Disney’s choice by taking a baseball bat to a giant promotional standee for the film. Deadline reports that the man in the Twitter video is Gerard Lemoine, owner of an independent theater called Cinepal in Palaiseau, France.
— Destination Ciné (@destinationcine) August 6, 2020
Lemoine openly admits that his anger stems from the fact that he had high hopes for Mulan being the film that would help the business with its re-opening plans, saying:
It’s really a huge effort to stay open right now for most of us, but we were assuming there would be some ambitious movie releases in the coming weeks. By losing Mulan, we lost the possibility of offering our audiences a long-awaited film that would have helped us after these past hard weeks. It is also a bad message to send to the public.
For now, Lemoine remains hopeful that August’s major release of Tenet will be the saving grace Cinepal so desperately needs to stay afloat during the pandemic. That said, a poster for that film hung behind the Mulan standee, so if Tenet doesn’t make it to cinemas, we may very well see Lemoine use his baseball bat yet again.