By: John M Jerva

2020 has certainly been a trying year and I won’t go into any specifics as you all know what’s been up. The movie industry has been hit pretty hard because of it all and many films have either been delayed until next year or have been released via Digital Platforms and VOD.

Disney’s live action film MULAN has seen its share of delays and was finally set to hit theaters this month but once again, COVID-19 has killed those plans. Today saw the release of some pretty historic news as Disney has announced that the film will hit Disney + next month but unfortunately there is a catch. Instead of enjoying the film if you have a subscription, viewers will have to pony up an additional 30 bucks to watch it.

The fee is without a doubt a way for the company to make money on the film since it isn’t going to theaters but the question remains if people are willing to pay extra to rent it in a service they already pay for. It’s a risky game me to say the least.

“Despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, we’ve continued to build on the incredible success of Disney+ as we grow our global direct-to-consumer businesses,” Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Chapek said in a statement. “The global reach of our full portfolio of direct-to-consumer services now exceeds an astounding 100 million paid subscriptions — a significant milestone and a reaffirmation of our DTC strategy, which we view as key to the future growth of our company.”

Chapek added “as you know it’s fairly expensive to produce for consumers the quality we’re known for. Rather than simply rolling [MULAN] into a free offering, we thought we can test anything when you have your own platform. We’re trying to establish a new premiere access window to capture that investment we got [in the film]. We’ll have a chance to learn from this. From our research under a premiere access offering, not only does it get us revenue from our original transaction of PVOD, but it’s a fairly large stimulus to sign up for Disney+.”

Liu Yifei stars as the titular warrioress and she is in very capable hands with a host of martial arts icons which include Donnie Yen, Dragon: A Bruce Lee Story’s Jason Scott Lee and the one and only Jet Li who is making a return to the silver screen after a long hiatus. Yoson An, also star and Niki Caro helms the film which has seen a long and winding road to finally reach audiences.

Official Synopsis: When the Emperor of China issues a decree that one man per family must serve in the Imperial Chinese Army to defend the country from Huns, Hua Mulan, the eldest daughter of an honored warrior, steps in to take the place of her ailing father. She is spirited, determined and quick on her feet. Disguised as a man by the name of Hua Jun, she is tested every step of the way and must harness her innermost strength and embrace her true potential.

MULAN will hit Disney + for an additional $29.99 a rental starting on September 4th so basically it’s like paying to see it at the theaters. This is the future I’m afraid as it seems theater chains are hesitant to finally open amid the pandemic. Stay tuned for more to come.

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