When Disney revealed that after numerous delays brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic that the studio would be completely eschewing the theatrical release of Mulan in favour of debuting it on the Disney+ streaming service where possible, the move made a lot cents. Oops, I meant to say “sense” but I was just distracted by the small mountain of money it would cost you to watch the film though. On top of the regular monthly $7 subscription fee, Mulan fans would need to fork out an additional $29.99 for the newly-minted Premier Access which will give you access to watch the $200 million live-action blockbuster remake of the beloved animated classic as many times as you want as long as your account stays active.
But what about those people who didn’t want to pay that admittedly steep price for this movie? In countries like South Africa, where Disney+ has not officially launched yet and cinemas have reopened in the face of the pandemic, Mulan is getting a full theatrical release, so this doesn’t affect us. Other international audiences are a different story. But there’s some good news, inadvertently revealed by Disney themselves in a British ad which was subsequently pulled. Fortunately, the internet sees and remembers all (via JoBlo):
For those of you not blessed with my eagle-eyed vision, that text reads as follows:
Start streaming September 4, 2020 for £19.99. Watch before its release to all Disney+ subscribers on December 4, 2020. Watch as many times as you like with Premier Access and your Disney+ subscription. Requires an active Disney+ subscription.
Yep, it would appear that Disney is pulling a page out of the video game playbook as Mulan’s Premier Access is actually just timed exclusivity. And not even a long time as you only need to wait three months to catch it on regular Disney+. I’m sure for a lot of people that extra bit of patience is a much easier price to pay than $29.99, so they will probably wait it out. Especially given the fact that had 2020 not been a flaming bag of dog turds of a year and Mulan received a traditional theatrical release, three months is exactly how long it would have taken after the movie went off the cinema circuit before it would be offered on VOD and home release anyway.
But if you think that extra bit of patience on consumers’ part means that Disney will be losing out, think again. Chances are very good that when Mulan does become available on regular Disney+ in December, it will probably drive a big new batch of subscribers to sign up, just like we’ve seen when other major exclusive releases like The Mandalorian and Hamilton hit the service previously. If there’s one thing Disney knows how to do, it’s to always make money no matter what.
Last Updated: September 1, 2020