Liu Yifei plays Hua Mulan in Disney's "Mulan".
Disney said in a surprising move on Tuesday that its blockbuster feature "Mulan", which has been delayed from theatrical release since mid-March, will be released on September 4 at Disney + for a premium price of $ 29.99 .
The film will simultaneously be released in certain markets with open cinemas in cinemas where the company has not announced plans to launch Disney +. It will be Disney's first attempt to sell content on Disney +, in addition to the $ 6.99 monthly subscription.
"We see this as an opportunity to make this incredible film accessible to a wide audience who can't go to the cinemas at the same time while further enhancing the value and appeal of a Disney + subscription with this great content," said CEO Bob Chapek during a win call.
With the condition that Disney will release the film in regions where the streaming service is not planned, it means that the film is likely to reach Chinese audiences in cinemas. "Mulan" should be a great blessing for Disney in China when it was first released in March.
Canada, Australia, New Zealand and a number of countries in Western Europe will also have access to the Disney + version of the film.
The on-demand price is much steeper than usual and could make a big contribution to making up for the studio losses from the beginning of the year. Economics may be even more economical for Disney because the film is released on demand on Disney + rather than traditional cable, which means the company doesn't have to split revenue.
"The policy is being rewritten to take account of these unprecedented times," said Paul Dergarabedian, Comscore senior media analyst, in an email. "So it should come as no surprise that unusual steps (some of which would have been unthinkable)." a few months ago) are used by many media companies to deal with the ever changing market dynamics that are at play during the pandemic. "
"Mulan" had a production budget of around $ 200 million and a marketing budget that was likely to approach half that amount, so the company couldn't just put the film on Disney + at no additional cost.
"As you probably know, the production and production of Disney tent pole blockbuster movies can be quite expensive in terms of the premium access idea to achieve the quality that consumers expect from us and frankly the quality that we do expect from them. " us, "Chapek said, adding that it is testing this model.
"We thought we would try to create a new window for first-class access to try to recover part of this investment," he said. "We will have the chance to learn from it and see if it makes sense."
SEE: Mulan will be released on September 4 for another $ 29.99 for Disney + subscribers