August 24, 2020
The Walt Disney Co. is a longtime champion of preserving the traditional theatrical window, eschewing industry efforts to push premium VOD in the home for new release movies.
As a result, the company’s decision to offer the live-action remake Mulan directly to consumers on Sept. 4 for $29.99 is a one-time bet requiring maximum distribution.
To that end, Disney will sell “premium access” to Mulan to Disney+ subscribers via Google Play, Apple and Roku. The move is significant considering that when CEO Bob Chapek first announced direct-to-consumer access to Mulan on the the company’s fiscal call, it was through Disney+ exclusively. Now Disney will share Mulan revenue with Apple, Roku and Google.
The move suggests Disney might be having difficulty convincing Disney+ subs to directly purchase the film on its app.
“Starting Sept. 4, with Premier Access, you can watch Mulan before it’s available to all Disney+ subscribers,” Disney said in its FAQ section. “Disney+ will offer Premier Access to Mulan for $29.99 on DisneyPlus.com and select platforms, including Apple, Google and Roku. Once you have Premier Access to Mulan, you can watch as many times as you want on any platform where Disney+ is available. Your access to Mulan will continue as long as you are an active Disney+ subscriber.”
The movie thus far is not available through Amazon Fire TV, Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox, despite the platforms affording access to the Disney+ app.