This Tuesday, Disney revealed plans to debut their live-action Mulan remake on the Disney+ streaming platform. The movie will premiere on the service for subscribers who pay an additional fee of $29.99 and will be available beginning September 4th.
Personally, I’m not really happy about this news. I’m shocked, as I thought Disney would be totally unwilling to release big-budget action vehicles like Mulan and Black Widow right to streaming. Granted, there will still be a theatrical release when it’s possible, and this film will only be available to those willing to pay a hefty fee. However, those of us who want to see Mulan in a timely manner for review purposes or to avoid spoilers pretty much have to go for this “offer.” I also can’t help but think that this pre-release will hurt whatever theatrical window the movie does eventually get. For families or those watching in groups, $30 is a pretty good deal, especially since you can stay home and eat your own snacks. Why would anyone wait to pay more for the same product in the theaters? I’ve hated to see this movie delayed time and again; Mulan is definitely a top 5 must-see movie for me this year, so I’ve been disappointed at having to wait. But I wish it was being saved for theaters, whenever they’re able to reopen. This is a war movie with fantasy elements, and I’m sure it was very much imagined with a theater experience in mind. I can understand the price tag given the potential loss in ticket sales, and this probably makes a lot of sense on Disney’s end. But I find it to be a depressing development, and I hope this isn’t the new norm for movies. If it is, I may have to find a cheaper hobby. More importantly, this may truly spell disaster for theaters.