Plus: Disney Plus Mulan Live premiere access article. Opinion - September 14, 2020
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Disney+ has decided to release the movie “Mulan” on their streaming service for members on Sept. 4, 2020. With movie theaters being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Disney has decided to add a monthly subscription for viewers to see the movie. The monthly subscription is an additional $30 dollars even for audiences who have paid for a membership. Having this additional payment is great for promoting a movie during these tough times in our society.

Disney has started to lose money with their revenue taking a huge hit in the studio entertainment industry. The additional subscription for Mulan is a way for Disney to make money again. Making consumers pay the extra $30 is a solution for them to build their low numbers back up again since movie theaters are shut down.

“You look at our studio entertainment revenue, it’s down 55% year over for the quarter. Their theme parks and consumer products, which is a hugely lucrative business, is down 85% year over year,” said Elaine Low, senior reporter for Variety. “Hoping that they are able to make back some of what they would have made in the theatrical window.” 

Having no release date was another reason for the $30 subscription on Disney+. Trying to push back the release date to 2021 wasn’t going to work with other movies scheduled to debut that same year. This forced Disney to move Mulan to a closer date than expected. Putting Mulan on Disney+ was the only solution to premiere the movie. Since this happened, Disney implemented the $30 so the movie is seen across the country.

“The decision to move to Disney+ was not an easy one, however the studio could not determine a safe worldwide theatrical date, so they made the next best decision to put it onto Disney+ and theatrically distribute in those countries that are open,” said Kathryn Arnold, a film producer and entertainment consultant.  

Other major online movie companies, especially Netflix, might look into customers paying for movies even though they are subscribers. This looks like the future of the movie industry but Disney Plus made it clear that this is a one time experiment. Executives from Disney are informing consumers that the subscription will happen once and won’t happen again down the road. 

“We’re looking at Mulan as a one-off, as opposed to say there’s some new business windowing model we’re looking at,” said Chapek.

Nobody expected the pandemic to be this long, especially the movie industries. With shops and theaters still shut down, Disney decided to air this movie to audiences all over the world to people who are stuck at home. Thirty dollars might seem like a lot but it’s a less expensive opportunity for families to see the movie since the world is currently at a halt. Being able to stop the movie, use the bathroom, or make popcorn is why paying the extra $30 for Mulan is worthwhile.

“Kicking back, making my own popcorn, getting the kids in their pajamas and chilling out on my comfortable couch to watch a movie seems like a dream scenario,” said author Mark Serrels. “I can easily pause when I need to take the youngest to the toilet, no need to stress if my kids are making too much noise, zero anxiety around the fact my kids are cramming skittles into their sugar obsessed gobs. A perfect Saturday night.”

In some peoples’ eyes, Disney is making people around the world pay $30 for a movie, which might be going overboard. However, having a movie premiere at home is better than having nothing at all. In these difficult times, major movie corporations are doing everything to stay afloat in this pandemic.

“The average cost for a single movie ticket in America is $9.26- and that’s before parking and popcorn. Charging $30 for a family of four to watch a new big- budget film unlimited number of times from the comfort of their home is, relatively speaking, a deal,” said Time Magazine.

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