In a recent open forum, some financial analysts discussed the possibility that Disney might cancel the theatrical release of its upcoming live-action adaptation of the 1998 animated classic Mulan.
One Wall Street veteran named Michael Nathanson, who has invested quite a bit of money in the Mouse House over the years, believed it made more sense for Disney to release their hotly-anticipated tentpole on their freshly-launched streaming service instead. The decision to switch to a VOD release plan, he argued, would not only allow more people to enjoy the film, but also give Disney+ a strategic advantage over its competitors.
Disney originally planned to bring out Mulan in March, but has since pushed back the film’s release to July 24th, a date which they have refused to tinker with since. Whether the movie will actually premiere on this date, however, depends on the state of the nation. Although several cinemas – including AMC and Cinemark – plan to open in time, others, like Regal, have not yet announced plans to resume business as usual.
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Despite the fact that Disney is pushing for a July release, Nathanson isn’t so sure their wish is going to be fulfilled. In order to meet the date, the analyst says, they would have to un-fourlough a ton of employees to handle the film’s marketing and distribution, which is easier said than done. “I don’t think it’s a given that Mulan‘s going to be released as we think,” he concluded.
If Mulan is able to come out as planned, though, the project could end up becoming “a freakin’ home run.” Assuming the film can draw as many viewers as some of the other live-action adaptations that the studio has released in recent years, it could certainly provide some significant financial relief for Disney in these times of crisis.