During its second-quarter earnings report, Disney announced that Mulan was going to be the latest film of Disney’s to come to Disney+. It is ahead early as theaters remain mostly closed, and home release windows get warped by the pandemic. Unlike Frozen II and Hamilton, Mulan was going to be a $30 upcharge on top of being a Disney+ subscriber, sparking outrage among observes and fans as Disney charged $10 more than competitors like Universal.
Disney turns out it is not overcharging for a rental. That $30 is an outright purchase. Thus, you unlock the film early on D+, and it allows you to watch it as many times as you like between September 4 and whenever the films come to free D+ subscribers.
Thus, it makes Mulan’s pricing much more reasonable.
The other “theatrical + home premieres” we have seen this summer (Trolls World Tour) have been $20 48-hour rentals for the first few months. It was until they reach their actual “home release” window. Then, users can buy the movie outright for $20, and rentals go down to more reasonable rates. The pricing here can seem steep. Nevertheless, if you are watching it with a family of six, $20 at home beats $60 at the box office, not mentioning that you can watch the movie at the pace of your kids. Moreover, you can re-watch the movie a few times before that two-day window expires.
However, for Mulan, you get a higher upfront fee to eliminate the secondary purchase fee down the road. $30 will maybe cover three movie tickets at a theater. Nevertheless, you are essentially purchasing the film through Disney+ 3-4 months before its intended home release window. Moreover, you can download the movie for offline playback. Nevertheless, just like buying a film from iTunes or Google Play, you cannot download an unencrypted version of the movie to add to a personal media server or Plex. You will be able to watch it as many times as you want on every and any platform Disney+ is compatible with.
Do I wish that the price was an actual retailer purchase; thus, I could add the movie to my Movies Anywhere library and watch it on Amazon Prime or Google Play? Yes, because you lose access to the movie if you stop subscribing to Disney+.
Do I Blame Disney, on the other hand, to keep a highly anticipated movie on its most important service, further cementing Disney+ as a ‘must-have’ subscription? No, you can hate the player. Nevertheless, you got to respect the hustle.
Many have said that they would rather see Black Widow get this treatment than Mulan. Nevertheless, I think it is far more rational for Disney to sets the waters with the remake. In case customers unilaterally shun the system and wait for Mulan to eventually come to all Disney+ subscribers – probably around Valentine’s Day or Christmas? – then Disney will learn from it. Thus, it can either try a different tactic or hold off on Black Widow.
Thus, we think that it is a quite good offer for the supporters of Disney.