It’s the streaming service announcement heard ’round the world. After the coronavirus delayed its original theatrical release date and there was lots of hemming-and-hawing about whether we will (or should) experience it in a theater any time soon, Disney announced that the live-action remake of Mulan will debut on Disney+ September 4, 2020. But there’s a catch — it won’t just be available for Disney+ subscribers willy-nilly. We’ll have to fork over an extra $29.99 to get access to the film on 09/04. And now, thanks to a new landing page on Disney+, we know exactly what that arrangement means — and what it might imply about Mulan‘s future on Disney+.
On this page, Disney is calling the 30 buck rental fee for Mulan “Premier Access.” It goes on to explain that “Premier Access” means that “starting September 4, with Premier Access, you can watch Mulan before it’s available to all Disney+ subscribers. Disney+ will offer Premier Access to Mulan for $29.99 on disneyplus.com and select platforms. Once you have Premier Access to Mulan, you can watch as many times as you want on any platform where Disney+ is available. Your access to Mulan will continue as long as you are an active Disney+ subscriber.” For this fee, you’ll get the film in HDR, UHD, and Dolby audio, and you’ll be able to “stream & download for as long you have Disney+”. So far this all makes sense, right?
But there’s one piece of verbiage I’m stuck on, that might be good news for folks who subscribe to Disney+ but aren’t willing to shell out the extra 30 bucks. “Premier Access,” a $29.99 service, will get you Mulan “before it’s available to all Disney+ subscribers.” Does this mean that, if we’re patient enough, we can just wait a few months (or less? or more?) before the film will hit the service normally like the rest of its titles? Does this chart the new path for Disney titles on the home entertainment circuit — Disney+ Premier Access, PVOD/Blu-ray, Disney+ proper? If the coronavirus keeps going like it’s going, is this what they’ll do for the rest of their slate for the foreseeable future?
While these questions remain unanswered at the moment, one thing’s for sure — If you want to watch Mulan ASAP, Premier Access on Disney+ will be your best best. It starts streaming on September 4 for $29.99. Take a look at its new trailer here.