Starting Sept. 4, “Mulan” will be available to Disney Plus subscribers who pay the additional $29.99 early-access fee, on top of the regular $6.99-per-month subscription. The movie can be purchased directly from Disney at disneyplus.com, as well as via platforms including Apple, Google and Roku, according to updated info on the streamer’s site.
A Disney rep confirmed to Variety that for purchases of “Mulan” made on the Disney Plus app through the in-app payment systems of Apple’s App Store, Google Play and Roku, Disney will be subject to transaction fees taken by each of those platforms. In the case of Apple and Google the standard in-app transaction fee is 30%, while Roku keeps 20% of sales on its platform. The Disney spokesperson declined to provide details on what the fees are for “Mulan.”
Amazon is not currently in the mix as a distribution partner for “Mulan,” as noted by LightShed Partners analyst Rich Greenfield, who spotted the updated purchasing info Friday. According to Greenfield, for Universal’s “Trolls World Tour” premium VOD release this spring, device platforms kept 20% of the retail price.
Earlier this month, Disney announced that it would release “Mulan” first as an early-access option on Disney Plus, bypassing theatrical distribution after several delays in its release schedule.
The film, directed by Niki Caro, is a live-action reimagining of Disney’s 1998 animated feature. Like the original, the new “Mulan” follows a young warrior in China who disguises herself as a man to spare her elderly father from having to serve in the military.
It remains a question whether Disney will recoup its costs for the “Mulan” remake by releasing it solely on premium VOD, particularly if it’s forking over 20% of the retail price to sales that flow through device partners.
To reach $375 million in profits on PVOD alone, “Mulan” would have 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 — and that calculation is based on the assumption that all of those purchases will go directly through disneyplus.com, which will not be the case.