Disney World Pricing, No Mulan Theatrical Release?

WDW Pro

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
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And for the real issue behind the scenes:

1. Several people have reached out to me to let me know that there are major discussions taking place, including such key figures as Zenia Mucha and Alan Horn, about possibly moving Mulan's theatrical release out another year. It's current placement is soon enough that they could reliably move it in under the guise of lower box office revenues due to COVID-19, while the real reason is that Disney is caught in a real PR nightmare potentially. There are a number of people at Disney who feel that Mulan could become a political wedge release in the current atmosphere, which is a conflict many would like to avoid. They fear that social media and cable news, among other entities, could make viewership of the film a partisan issue, as well as a concern that the Chinese Communist Party may be found to have acted in more sinister ways just prior to a release of a film that could be seen as pro-CCP by some demographics. Articles such as this (https://www.theguardian.com/film/20...ney-is-bowing-to-china-anti-democratic-agenda) could be tame in comparison to how the movie will be perceived at release. For more info on how this film has already been used by the CCP, refer to: https://variety.com/2019/film/news/disney-mulan-crystal-liu-yifei-hong-kong-twitter-
 

DisneyDebRob

Well-Known Member
I would be fine with it going straight to Disney +.
 

DisneyDebRob

Well-Known Member
The theaters won't. Can they pull what they did on Universal to Disney? Unlikely, but its a possibility.
Theaters won’t yes, but they will have many more movies coming out over the next year. Could be another beneficial move for Disney by adding it to plus. Not sure of the exact numbers but the base did increase on Disney + when onward was sent there earlier then planned.
 

Kamikaze

Well-Known Member
Theaters won’t yes, but they will have many more movies coming out over the next year. Could be another beneficial move for Disney by adding it to plus. Not sure of the exact numbers but the base did increase on Disney + when onward was sent there earlier then planned.

Right, but when Universal skipped the release of Trolls altogether, multiple chains said they would no longer carry Universal movies at all going forward. Disney would not risk that. Now, part of that is that Universal plans to release movies on digital and in theaters at the same time going forward, so if Disney plans to make this a one off and makes that clear to the theaters its a different story.
 

DisneyDebRob

Well-Known Member
Right, but when Universal skipped the release of Trolls altogether, multiple chains said they would no longer carry Universal movies at all going forward. Disney would not risk that. Now, part of that is that Universal plans to release movies on digital and in theaters at the same time going forward, so if Disney plans to make this a one off and makes that clear to the theaters its a different story.
Agreed. There’s a line that’s being crossed right now with companies seeing the advantages of having their own platforms and releasing them straight to them. With this virus it’s making the line clearer. If theaters start taking a stand, I think they are going to be in big trouble. There not the front runners anymore and attendance has been dropping for years.
 

CJR

Well-Known Member
I personally think as a business, Disney should allow theaters to play the film and then move it to on demand, retail, and streaming like normal.

I don't believe it will be a hit, but giving up any theatrical gross seems silly and expensive after already pushing a theatrical release to Disney Plus (to be fair, that was a flop waiting to happen). Likewise, pushing it back a year might do nothing, since any political issues will likely last that long. It'd just back potential projects that might do better.

They might as well just let it play out.
 

Rider

Well-Known Member
Right, but when Universal skipped the release of Trolls altogether, multiple chains said they would no longer carry Universal movies at all going forward. Disney would not risk that. Now, part of that is that Universal plans to release movies on digital and in theaters at the same time going forward, so if Disney plans to make this a one off and makes that clear to the theaters its a different story.

No. When Trolls went direct to streaming all the chains didn't have a problem because they were all closed and understood that Universal had already been promoting the film for release. Everyone understood it was a difficult choice in a difficult time. Other films have done the same thing now too. No one is boycotting Warner Bros over Scoob or Disney over Artemis Fowl.

It was only later when Universal said they would permanently start doing streaming at the same time as theatrical releases (once they could reopen) that the theater companies had an issue.

If there are still doubts about when theaters can reopen, Mulan would be seen as just another film that Disney is dumping because they don't want to delay again for a box office that might not be there.
 

DisneyDebRob

Well-Known Member
With Artemis Fowl being released in another 2 weeks on plus.. rumors of Black Widow and Mulan possibly doing the same thing, who knows. By increasing the people buying in to Disney + and also renting it for 20 bucks to the people that don’t have plus, are they really taking a hit? Seems to me, don’t have numbers, but they can make quite a profit. Along with less people going out to theaters, probably the wave of the future.
 

doctornick

Well-Known Member
No. When Trolls went direct to streaming all the chains didn't have a problem because they were all closed and understood that Universal had already been promoting the film for release. Everyone understood it was a difficult choice in a difficult time. Other films have done the same thing now too. No one is boycotting Warner Bros over Scoob or Disney over Artemis Fowl.

It was only later when Universal said they would permanently start doing streaming at the same time as theatrical releases (once they could reopen) that the theater companies had an issue.

If there are still doubts about when theaters can reopen, Mulan would be seen as just another film that Disney is dumping because they don't want to delay again for a box office that might not be there.

Exactly this. If Mulan got pushed out of theaters and onto digital - which BTW I think is still very unlikely, they’ll just delay the release date again if they have to - the theaters won’t flip out unless that is seen as a new business model. The backlash against Universal wasn’t about Trolls but their alleged bold new future plans of simultaneous online and theater releases.

Furthermore, the tent poles from Disney aren’t as conducive to at home streaming - Disney makes a lot from families buying multiple tickets as well as people doing repeat viewings while the movie is in theaters. Streaming at home undercuts that revenue. It’s one thing for Netflix to produce Oscar bait films that are mostly viewed online (with limited theatrical release) because those aren’t going to make huge amounts even if they were wide theatrical releases. It’s entirely another thing for your standard Disney/Pixar/Marvel/Star Wars tentpole that is expected to make hundreds of millions if not over a billion st the box office
 

Doberge

Active Member
How would a PR hit be different releasing Mulan theatrically vs. Disney+ or any other means? When the movie comes out it will be reviewed, boycotted, whatever by the same people who will make the same arguments regarding CCP no matter where the movie is released.

So if release location doesn't really matter it seems the timing is the real issue. Punting to 2021 either theateically or Disney+ makes a lot of sense, while acknowledging the ridiculousness of potentially needing to move a Disney movie because of political motivations of others.
 

Mouse Trap

Well-Known Member

1. There is no "serious" concern at Disney re: people's perception of China and how it will impact Mulan. Obviously there is an impact, but release date will not be changed because of politics with China. Anyone pushing the political narrative as grounds for a release shift is 100% wrong.

2. Mulan's fate will be determined by Los Angeles and NYC's soon to be announced plan on theater reopening, NOT any political issues. If Los Angeles or NYC is taken out of play then the New Mutant's release date is up for grabs, but alternatives will certainly be weighed. As the article stated there are definitely marketing issues as well.

An analyst also said WDW will not be opening until 2021. Remember this oh so popular article that made its way across the internet like wildfire?


Also regarding the future of VOD: Trolls was a hit as an event movie. Scoob has not had it's numbers released yet and there's reason to believe it was very lackluster. I could very well be entirely wrong on Scoob, but until there is proof VOD can rake in piles of cash weekend after weekend we won't see major films released on VOD regularly.
 
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