Upcoming live-action Disney movie Mulan will be available to purchase through Apple’s TV app, Variety reports.
A remake of the 1998 animated movie, the 2020 Mulan will cost $29.99 to purchase on third-party platforms — Apple’s included — starting September 4. If that’s the only Disney content you’re interested in seeing right now, that’s actually cheaper than watching it via Disney+.
The reason it works out cheaper is because, on Disney+, customers must already pay the $6.99 monthly subscription fee. That means that, if you’re only interested in Mulan, you’ll seemingly need to pay the $30 fee, plus the $7 monthly charge. On the Apple TV app, you only have to pay the $30 fee.
(What’s not 100% clear is how repeat viewings will work. On Disney+, buyers can rewatch Mulan as many times as they like, provided they’re still paying for a monthly subscription. Stop paying that, though, and Mulan will disappear from their libraries. Online reports suggest the $30 fee on the Apple TV app is a purchase, rather than a rental with an expiry date. If so, you’re much better off buying through Apple since there’s no recurring cost involved.)
Mulan: Disney’s latest live-action remake
Exclusive access to Mulan would be a good selling point for Disney+. However, it seems that Disney has other ideas. Having pulled Mulan from theaters due to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s taking the Trolls 2 route of making it available on video-on-demand services.
As Variety points out, to hit the hoped-for $375 million in profits, Mulan will need “to draw at least 12.5 million rentals, representing roughly 20% of Disney Plus’ global subscriber base of 60.5 million as of Aug. 3.” That seems ambitious, which is likely why Disney is opening it up to other VOD services.
The problem is that, just like exhibitor costs in theaters, not every cent Disney makes from other platform purchases goes to Disney. Apple will take its customary 30% as a transaction fee.