“Mulan” is no longer headed for a major theatrical release. The Walt Disney Co. said Tuesday that it will debut its live-action blockbuster on its subscription streaming service, Disney+, on Sept. 4.
But this is no “Hamilton,” customers will have to pay an additional $29.99 on top of the cost of the monthly subscription to rent “Mulan.”
The company plans to release it in theaters in areas where Disney+ is not available.
“Mulan,” a live-action remake of the animated film, was one of the first films affected by the coronavirus pandemic and the closure of theaters. Originally set for a late March release, the blockbuster has been delayed four times since.
“In order to meet the needs of consumers during this unpredictable period, we thought it was important to find alternative ways to bring this exceptional family-friendly film to them in a timely manner,” Disney CEO Bob Chapek said on the company’s earnings call. “We see this as an opportunity to bring this incredible film to a broad audience currently unable to go to movie theaters.”
Walt Disney Co. on Tuesday reported that its net income fell dramatically in the three-month period that ended in June when it most of its theme parks were shuttered and theatrical movie releases were postponed.
Still, its bottom-line results were better than analysts expected, although its revenue fell short of forecasts.
Disney has soared to success with the breadth of its media and entertainment offerings, but now it’s trying to recover after the coronavirus pandemic pummeled many of its businesses. It was hit by several months of its parks and stores being closed, cruise ships idled, movie releases postponed and a halt in film and video production.
For quarter that ended June 27, the company based in Burbank, California, posted a loss of $4.84 billion, or $2.61 per share, compared to a profit of 79 cents in the prior year quarter. Adjusted to exclude one-time items such as restructuring costs and impairment charges, it net income came to 8 cents per share. Analysts expected an adjusted loss of 64 cents per share, according to FactSet.
Revenue fell 42% to $11.78 billion, missing analyst expectations of $12.39 billion, according to FactSet.
Disney has been opening its parks back up around the globe, but most were still shuttered during the company’s fiscal third quarter.
In May, it opened Disney Springs, a complex of shops, restaurants and entertainment venues in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Hong Kong Disneyland reopened in June, but closed again after a month due to an outbreak in the city. It reopened Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom, Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Florida, in July.
Disney said closing its parks cost it $3.5 billion during the quarter.
The streaming service Disney Plus continued to be a bright spot.
Disney reported Disney Plus, which costs $7 a month, had 57.5 million paid subscribers as of June 27. On a call with analysts, CEO Bob Chapek said that number reached 60.5 million as of Monday. The service debuted in November in the U.S. and rolled out to the UK and other parts of Europe last month. Disney Plus, Hulu and ESPN Plus combined reached over 100 million subscribers, the company said.
Netflix, by contrast, has about 183 million subscribers, a base it has spent years building.