Cinemas across the world were hoping Disney would continue with the release of ‘Mulan‘ later this year, in hopes it would bring people back to the theater.
Mulan along with Christopher Nolan’s ‘Tenet‘ film were being viewed as potential saviors for the theater business as they try to convince people to return following months of closure, due to the coronavirus.
But now, they will no longer have Mulan to count on. UK Cinemas were reportedly blindsided this week after Disney announced they were taking Mulan directly to their Disney+ streaming service.
It’ll be released on September 4, but it won’t be included in your subscription. You’ll have to pay an extra $30 to rent it.
‘It’s a f*ck you to exhibitors,’ one operator put it succinctly today. The Disney UK team are understood to have been somewhat blindsided themselves and sympathetic to their theatrical partners, with Director of Theatrical Sales Craig Jones mailing key operators last night just prior to the announcement to say the decision was ‘not taken lightly’
Ouch. At the end of the day though, the studios hold the power currently. Obviously they still need theaters for big blockbuster releases (provided this pandemic ends) but for right now, theaters are struggling more than studios.
Studios can always make some money via on demand releases. Theaters are pretty much screwed at the moment.