For Nearly $30, You'll be Able to Rent 'Mulan' on Disney+
Let’s get down to business: Disney’s highly anticipated live-action movie Mulan will not hit theaters after all; instead, you’ll have the option to rent it at home.
On Tuesday, the company announced they’d be doing away with a theatrical release for the film and instead will be premiering it on their streaming service Disney+ on September 4 for a premium rental fee.
The rental fee is $29.99, including for Disney+ members who pay a $6.99 monthly subscription fee. The premium fee for Mulan would be in addition to that subscription.
According to CNN, Disney CEO Bob Chapek said the coronavirus pandemic pushed the company to find "different approaches" to help their customers, telling employees on their third-quarter earnings call: "We thought it was important to find alternative ways to bring this exceptional family-friendly film to them in a timely manner.”
If you’re in an area where Disney+ isn’t available, you’re not totally out of luck and may still get the experience Disney intended. Mulan will be released simultaneously in theaters in those markets as well as areas where theaters are open.
As for whether or not this is going to be a trend going forward, Chapek (as per Variety) said on the same call that “we’re looking at Mulan as a one-off as opposed to saying there’s some new business windowing model that we’re looking at.”
News of the movie getting pushed from a widespread theatrical release comes on the heels of it being repeatedly pushed back throughout the summer movie season. The remake was slated to hit theaters as of March 27, then July 24, then August 21 — and now, it’s moved to Disney+.
It’s unclear how well the movie will do with the nearly $30 rental price tag, but as Engadget notes: “A family of four would need to spend much more than $30 to get to a theater, and that’s just for tickets. That’s not including snacks and the headache of dealing with kids in a public space.” From that vantage point and for an entire household, the rental price isn’t too bad.
Is this the answer to watching blockbuster films in a COVID-19 world? Time will tell.