Back in March, right when everything was starting to be delayed and shut down due to the pandemic, I heard that Disney was considering doing some kind of premium tier for Disney+ for their first-run theatrical movies. At the time, and after Black Widow was delayed to November, people of course wrote off the report as not true. Until today when Disney confirmed they will be bringing first-run theatrical movies to Disney+ for a premium price.
During their third quarter earnings call today Disney CEO Bob Chapek announced that Mulan will debut on Disney+ for a premium $29.99 add-on purchase on September 4th. This appears to be similar to how UFC Pay-Per-Views are handled on Disney’s ESPN+ where you pay the $5 subscription, and then an additional $65 to view the PPVs.
Chapek was asked if Mulan was a clue as to what is going to happen with future tentpoles like Black Widow, and he said that while they see Mulan as a “one off” they were interested in seeing what happens at the $30 price and later said they would learn from Mulan when it comes to future tentpoles. Meaning, if Mulan does well, this is how many people might be watching Black Widow in November. It’s also interesting that in November, Disney+ will at last launch in Latin America; meaning the service will then be available in nearly every major market just in time for the release of Black Widow.
It’s very unlikely that Disney is spending time to build this functionality into Disney+ for just one movie…