‘MULAN’ TO BE RELEASED ON DISNEY PLUS: IS THIS THE WAY FORWARD FOR UPCOMING BLOCKBUSTERS?


After months of speculation Disney have finally decided to premier the live action movie of their 1998 animation ‘Mulan’ on their streaming service, on September 4.

 

Like a lot of irregularities this year, this unorthodox release is solely due to the coronavirus pandemic. The movie has already been delayed thrice this year alone and Disney have decided to take a different route. It won’t be totally free on Disney+ though, as subscribers on the platform are expected to pay a sum of $30 (for those in the US, other countries might vary) separate from the regular monthly subscription payment. After that you will be able to see it as many times as you want and it will be available offline too. For those that are paying for this premium access the movie will be theirs for life except they cancel their subscription, although the movie will eventually be available free after about 10 weeks or so similar to the duration of time cinema movie take to be released digitally.

Mind you this is a bold step from Disney, keep in mind this is just some days after Warner Bros. reiterated that Christopher Nolan’s ‘Tenet’ will not be released via streaming services, later deciding to release in 70 international territories on August 29 before a limited release in The US on September 3. Also, from what we saw from Aladdin and The Lion King live action releases last year this movie was certainly heading towards being a similar mega hit but now Disney is keeping their fingers crossed on whether this decision will be in their favour.

Right now Disney already have a lot of properties that have also been postponed and as it stands the release calendar for the rest of the year is already jam-packed, because apart from major releases from other studios like ‘Dune’ and ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ Disney also have two major theatrical-like series that are scheduled for release this year (Falcon and The Winter Soldier, Wandavision) plus 'The Mandalorian' is returning for season 2 after a very successful first season. Of course we can’t forget their MCU blockbuster ‘Black Widow’ so adding Mulan to that list in the space of less than four months would not make sense, especially the theatrical releases because they have to be spaced to avoid one overshadowing the other.

Disney have chosen Mulan to be the Guinea Pig here and it is not only a smart choice but a safer one because Mulan is a family movie not only for the young ones but for the middle aged audience as well because a lot of them wouldn’t mind paying some extra bucks to see on of their favourite childhood cartoons come to life. As much as I would’ve loved to see Black Widow as soon as possible you have to take into consideration that Marvel for the first time ever will be solely producing two series that have been slated for releases this year with tie-ins to the MCU, so adding another movie to their streaming platform would be kind of watering down the cinematic universe.

Anyway, the release of Mulan would do great things for the less than a-year-old streaming service, Disney+ had a fantastic first year with their series racking up an impressive number of Emmy nominations. They are surely on the right path but they need to do more if they’re to have more subscribers especially outside The US and this is definitely a good way to go about it. The streaming service is available in selected countries including Canada and UK but not available in my region but we will definitely find a way [*wink*] to see it. It will also open in cinemas in areas or countries that are not or are no longer affected by the virus like China, Singapore and Malaysia.

Hopefully it all goes well and if it does movie companies might as well consider taking a similar approach. I’m sure a lot of people out there myself very much included prefer the big screen but if this is the only way to see major releases then so be it.

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