Pandemic shut-ins looking for something really big to watch on their new home theater systems got some good news from Disney this week when it was revealed that its long-awaited live-action feature premiere of Mulan will take place on the Disney+ OTT streaming service Labor Day weekend.

Disney used a third quarter earnings call Tuesday to reveal that the new version of Mulan will be released to the premium Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD) portal September 4, 2020, bypassing the conventional movie theater opening in some international markets.

During the financial call Disney reported that Disney+ has now reached 60.5 million global subscribers, putting it in the 60 million – 90 million range first predicted by the studio to its investors for 2024.

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Due to the coronavirus situation, the studio said it plans to bypass the release the film theatrically in the U.S. and other major mostly Western countries. But it will likely go the theatrical route in areas of the world, like China, where the Disney+ service is not yet offered.

During the pandemic, Disney CEO Bob Chapek said that the company was looking for an alternative means of content distribution and in the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, and other countries, Disney+ is now a very viable outlet. Disney plans to offer Mulan on a new premiere access basis for $29.99 in the U.S.

The release date for Mulan has been changed several times during the pandemic. The atypical release plan presented a rare opportunity to put the movie in front of viewers while promoting subscriptions to the new premium streaming channel at the same time. In his call, Chapek cautioned, however, that he is not calling the new manner of the release “a new business windowing model.”

Disney will use the opportunity to experiment with a new premiere access window as a means to help recoup some of the substantial investment the studio has in the production and not have an expensive new picture sitting on the shelf any longer.

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By Greg Tarr

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