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Disney abandons US cinemas and drops 'Mulan' on PVOD

05-Aug-2020 • No Time To Die

Disney has abandoned hopes of releasing its new live-action film 'Mulan' in cinemas in the USA as the Coronavirus pandemic keeps theatres in many states closed due to rising infection levels.

On the day they announced a $5 billion dollar loss in the last quarter, Disney dropped the bombshell that 'Mulan' would be available for streaming rental for $29.99 for Disney+ subscribers on September 4th. Countries that have cinemas open will have a traditional theatrical release. You have to be a Disney+ subscriber on top of paying the additional $29.99.

The premium video on demand (PVOD) rollout will also apply to countries with Disney+, including Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and many Western European countries.

It was a convenient way to distract investors from the terrible financial performance that Disney endured in Q2.

CEO Bob Chapek also tried to downplay the significance of the move away from cinemas and to premium streaming: "We’re very pleased to be able to bring Mulan to our consumer base that has been waiting for it for a long, long time as we've had to, unfortunately, move our theatrical date several times. We are looking at Mulan as one-off as opposed to saying there is some new business windowing model that we are looking at. That said, we find it very interesting to be able to take a new offering to consumers at that $29.99 price and learn from it and see what happens not only in terms of the uptick of the number of subscribers we got on the platform, but also the number of transactions we get on that PVOD offering."

Translated: If this works, Disney may do it again.

Warner Bros. is still trying to launch 'Tenet' in US cinemas the day before, on September 3rd.

MGM & Universal have issued no updates on the plans to release 'No Time To Die' in cinemas globally from November 12th.

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