Admittedly, I feel audiences have been robbed of a wonderful cinematic experience with Disney’s live-action retelling of Mulan. A movie with tradition and action was meant to be seen on the big screen, not the TV screen.
However, if history tells us anything–it’s that dollars takes priority over our hearts. At the end of the day, the beautiful art of cinema is unfortunately a business first.
After losing nearly $5 billion due to COVID-19 closure, Disney has made an unprecedented move. Minus a few select markets, Disney is forgoing a traditional theatrical release. The studio has decided to bring the big-budget blockbuster Mulan straight to our homes on Disney Plus.
Here is everything you need to know regarding this monumental decision.
Mulan: More Than A Rental
On September 4, Mulan will be available to Disney Plus subscribers for $29.99. It will also be simultaneously releasing in select theater markets. When the news broke, there was an immediate uproar in the online community. The price made fans upset, but so did the nature of the purchase.
Many were led to believe that this would be a premium rental only. Fortunately, users will actually have access to the film…as long as they are subscribed to Disney Plus.
Essentially, you get to see the premiere of this epic at home by practically purchasing it as well. That is, you have control to see it whenever you want and however many times you want. The catch? It is Disney’s property, so if you leave Disney+, Mulan (and your $30) stays put.
The Future of Feature Films?
As uncertain as our daily lives are in this pandemic-riddled year that has been 2020, life is even more uncertain pertaining to the future of cinema.
Mulan could prove to be revolutionary for the state of film moving forward. With the AMC/Universal contract limiting certain theatrical releases to at least 3 weeks before going VOD, the success or failure of Mulan could send shock-waves though the industry.
Highly anticipated blockbusters like Tenet, Mulan, and Black Widow were all hopeful to “save cinema” earlier this year. However, the reality of the effects of the coronavirus has made theatrical releases less and less likely to happen.
Theaters are no doubt shaking in their boots and they should be. In fact, some theater companies are flat out enraged. If Mulan turns a decent enough profit, other studios and distributors may be likely to follow suit. And where does that leave the big theater chains in the U.S. and UK?
A Sad But Inevitable Truth
Ultimately, this situation is out of all of our hands. Whether it is us frustrated at home or Disney trying to recover their losses, we all are at the mercy of this global pandemic.
With most cinemas closed and no major-studio feature films having premiered since Sonic the Hedgehog or The Invisible Man, we have reached an all-time low in the film industry.
While the boldness of Disney’s approach could prove beneficial for their company, cinephiles may have just witnessed the end of the movie-going experience as we know it. Here’s to hoping I’m wrong.
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