Disney’s convoluted efforts to find some way to make money off of Niki Caro’s Mulan remake—a live-action blockbuster the studio reportedly spent some $200 million on, at least some of which it would probably like to get back—continue to convolute this week. Variety reports the latest wrinkle in the company’s plans to place Caro’s film on its Disney+ streaming network, revealing that, while the movie will still go up, as planned, as a $30 premium add-on for regular subscribers this Friday, it’ll also be going into the service’s regular rotation—provided you can wait a couple of months.
Specifically, the film will enter the regular, non-give-us-30-extra-bucks portion of Disney+ on December 4, three months after its paid debut on the service. (Specifically, the Premier Access window will run from September 4 to November 2, after which the film will be unavailable to anyone who hasn’t already paid for it until it hits gen-pop on December 4.) In other words, your $30 is now going toward purchasing three whole months of early access to the movie, in what is hard not to see as a digital recreation of the same exclusivity windows that have been giving studios and theaters all sorts of friction between each other since the COVID-19 lockdowns began.
Mulan has had a rough time of it over the last year, bouncing across the schedule (usually right alongside Warner Bros.’ Tenet) in an effort to find the perfect date to lure the planet’s population back into theaters. But while Christopher Nolan’s film finally just barged into whatever theaters would have it, Mulan eventually capitulated, abandoning theaters for more streaming pastures. And while it was inevitable that Caro’s film would eventually find its way into the general streaming library, along with most of Disney’s other big films, the fact that that window is only going to be three months does suggest a certain lack of confidence on the studio’s part in this particular effort to capitalize on a supposedly much-anticipated film.