And here we were, thinking we wouldn’t get any more new movies this year.
Ever since the coronavirus ravaged the country in May, several movie releases were either delayed or entirely removed from the 2020 calendar. First the newest James Bond movie No Time To Die was delayed until November. Sequels like A Quiet Place Part II, meanwhile, were postponed until next year. Other movies like Christopher Nolan’s science-fiction thriller Tenet were removed from the release calendar altogether. It’s safe to say the movie industry is in complete disarray right now and with no end in sight thanks to the coronavirus.
Well, Walt Disney just confirmed that at least one movie will be released this year despite the mounting pandemic: Mulan, the live-action remake of the Walt Disney animated feature of the same name, will be released in homes through the Disney+ streaming service.
According to Deadline, the company confirmed that Mulan would be regularly released in countries where theaters are currently open like China and Italy, but would be streamed for a premium price of $30 on Disney+ for countries that are still fighting the pandemic like the United States.
I have mixed feelings about this development. On one hand, I’m excited that I’ll get to see Mulan as originally planned this year, just in a much smaller theater and with less pants. I’ll happily spend the $30 premium price to watch it, even though I completely understand if some families feel that’s a little too absurd and pricey.
On the other hand, I was really looking forward to watching Mulan in a big-screen experience and am afraid I may not get the chance to now. Disney has not announced whether or not it will re-release Mulan in theaters after the pandemic passes, but depending on how successful it is, anything is possible. After all, the three highest-grossing movies of all time Avengers: Endgame, Avatar, and Titanic all saw theatrical re-releases, even though none of them needed help at the box office.
There’s also the thought to consider of what impact this will have on movie theaters as a whole. With remakes like Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King all grossing well over a billion dollars, it’s obvious that live-action Walt Disney remakes are a hot commodity for the movie industry. But with Mulan moving online, that threatens to take all of movie theater’s potential earnings and pour them more directly into Disney’s pockets. This could potentially create a huge loss of business for movie theaters and further jeopardize the tough position they’re already in for a complicated market.
And while Walt Disney states that releasing Mulan straight to homes is “a one-off,” that once again can change depending on the kind of success it sees. Superhero movies like Marvel’s Black Widow can now potentially find new life on Disney+, while animated movies like Pixar’s upcoming Soul can possibly be seen by younger audiences much sooner. And don’t even get me started on the release hell that the horror movie The New Mutants has caught itself up in.
All in all, this is strange news for strange times. We’ll have to wait and see how these trends pan out and how they might change the movie industry going forward.
SOURCE: Deadline, The Verge