As the controversial decision to open theaters in America narrowed down to an inevitably in late August, Mulan and Tenet repeatedly changed their release dates as industry watchers waited to see which film would be the first out of the gate. But then Disney pulled a game-changing move, announcing that the live-action remake would bypass American theaters completely and go straight to Disney+ where it would be available for a $30 premium access fee. It was a huge gamble for a major blockbuster, and it appears to have paid off.
According to a new report, nearly 29% of Disney+ subscribers pulled the trigger on purchasing Mulan. While that might not sound like a lot, Disney+ has a robust user base, which translates to some serious returns when the numbers are crunched. Via Yahoo! Finance:
During the company’s last earnings report, Disney said that the streaming platform has amassed over 60 million global subscribers. Assuming that U.S. households make up 50% of that total base (Disney has not yet broken out the exact number of U.S-based subscribers), 7Park’s data suggests that roughly 9 million users purchased the “Mulan” film for $30 a pop (29% of our estimated 30 million users.)
Under that scenario, net profits would pile up to $261 million for U.S. markets alone — and that’s on the conservative side.
For the record, not unlike Netflix, the streaming numbers for Disney+ come from third party analytics and should be taken with a grain of salt. However, Disney recently made public statements that it’s “very pleased” with Mulan‘s release strategy, albeit without getting into specific numbers. But if Yahoo! Finance‘s numbers are in the ballpark of Mulan‘s haul, that currently places the film well ahead of Tenet‘s entire box office haul. Global and domestic.
We’re already starting to see the effects of these competing release strategies. Within days of Tenet‘s risky theatrical debut, Warner Bros. already pulled the trigger on changing Wonder Woman 1984‘s release date. As for Disney, no official confirmation has been made, but Variety is reporting that release date changes are coming for Marvel’s Black Widow and Pixar’s Soul. While the latter is extremely likely to make the jump to Disney+, all eyes are on Black Widow to see if it makes a similar move or continues to wait for the right time to burst into theaters. If that day ever comes.
(Via Yahoo! Finance)