Disney’s live-action remakes of their animated classics have been a license to print money, with the constant stream of re-imaginings based on their beloved back catalogue generating billions in box office revenue, meaning that the production line will no doubt continue to roll on until they’ve cannibalized all of their fan favorites.
However, the Mouse House’s release strategy is set to take an intriguing new turn following the announcement that Mulan will premiere exclusively on Disney Plus for an additional one-off fee. Even though Niki Caro’s adaptation of the 1998 animation had remained stuck in limbo after being pulled from the release calendar due to the constant uncertainty generated by the Coronavirus pandemic, not a lot of people were expecting the movie to bypass theaters completely.
For one thing, Mulan comes armed with a budget of $200 million, not to mention all of the money spent on the marketing campaign that ultimately turned out to be for nothing. Charging $29.99 to watch a movie on a streaming service that only costs $7.99 a month has already drawn criticism from some quarters, but Disney have now confirmed that purchasing Mulan means subscribers will be able to watch it as often as they like, so long as they remain paying customers.
This is a smart move on the studio’s part, because a lot of people have been canceling their subscriptions recently after being disappointed with a lack of fresh content, and adding a hugely-anticipated title like Mulan to their in-house platform with the caveat that your $30 investment is gone as soon as you stop shelling out for Disney Plus on a monthly basis could ultimately drive up subscriber numbers, as people fork over the cash specifically to see it.