Mulan’s Reportedly Made More Than Tenet From Disney Plus Alone

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In news that will be extremely worrying for major cinema chains, the Disney+ Premier Access VOD release of Mulan seems to have financially triumphed over Christopher Nolan’s Tenet. The remake of the classic animated film has done very well for the Mouse House so far, with analytics firm 7ParkData estimating that at $29.99 a sale, Disney has made $261 million domestically from the pic.

By comparison, Tenet has earned $207 million globally. In ordinary times, that’d make it a box office bomb given its $200 million budget. But of course, these aren’t ordinary times. The COVID-19 pandemic saw theaters across the nation close, with social distancing and mandatory mask-wearing introduced when they reopened. Tenet was once positioned to lead the charge to bring audiences back to multiplexes, though by all accounts, people still seem reticent to gather in large groups in enclosed spaces.

So, what does this mean for the future? Well, first up, the financials on Mulan are even better than they initially appear, as Disney doesn’t have to profit share on their streaming releases as they would with cinema chains. That success may mean that movies like Black Widow previously earmarked for theaters may now go to VOD, after all.

We already know that studios are increasingly skeptical that the cinema experience will return to normal in the near future, with Wonder Woman 1984 delayed further to Christmas Day. And with a COVID-19 vaccine not coming anytime this year, flu season on the way and a general unease about crowds, I’m betting that most of 2020’s postponed blockbusters will see either very short theatrical runs, simultaneous VOD and theatrical releases or just drop on VOD only.

Whatever the case, the next six months are going to be transformative for the movie industry.

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