Back in simpler times, Mulan was guaranteed to be one of the biggest box office hits of the year, and stood a real chance at reaching the billion dollar mark given both the continued popularity of the 1998 original and the massive success of Disney’s line of live-action remakes. Instead, Niki Caro’s blockbuster ended up becoming a lightning rod for controversy.
The backlash originally started last year when calls were made to boycott the pic after star Liu Yifei publicly defended the actions of the Hong Kong police force, while fans with no interest in politics weren’t pleased, either, once they discovered that wisecracking sidekick Mushu wouldn’t be involved.
After the furor died down, it reignited when Mulan was pulled from the theatrical schedule and sent exclusively to Disney Plus for a one-off fee, with theater owners apoplectic at losing out on one of their most lucrative earners when business was at an all-time low. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the Mouse House then came under fire for thanking the Xinjiang province of China in the credits at the same time the region was facing accusations of human rights violations.
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The studio had bent over backwards to appease the notorious Chinese censorship board, only to see Mulan be hit with a media blackout and then bomb at the nation’s box office, although it’s reported to have made an awful lot of money for Disney through Premier Access purchases. Not content with their haul, though, Mulan will become available to rent on VOD and digital platforms next week.
Those that don’t subscribe to Disney Plus will be able to find the movie on Amazon Prime Video, VUDU, FandangoNOW and other platforms from Tuesday, October 6th priced at $29.99. It might’ve faced an awful lot of backlash, but it seems the Mulan gravy train will continue to roll on for a while longer.