When Disney announced that it was making Mulan available via VOD (video-on-demand) beginning September 4th, reactions were mixed.
Some loved the idea of being able to watch the delayed tentpole film despite the shutdown of theaters, but others thought the idea of paying $29.99 to “rent” the movie was steep.
Now Disney has clarified that subscribers who pay $29.99 for Mulan are effectively “buying” it, in the way people purchase movies through services like Vudu.
From the Insider…
In addition to a Disney Plus subscription, you’ll need to pay $29.99 to watch “Mulan” in the US. According to Chapek, the price will vary slightly in other countries.
A representative for Disney Plus confirmed to Insider the $29.99 is not a one-time rental charge. Disney Plus subscribers “will have continuous access to the film for as long as they remain subscribers to the service.”
Chapek said the film will simultaneously be released in certain markets where Disney Plus isn’t available and where theaters are open.
So there we have it.
Now, a word of caution for anyone buying digital. You don’t actually own the movie, song, publication or whatever it is you bought. They’re available for as long as the service is online, and sometimes those do shut down.
Still, $29.99 does seem like a better deal now that we know it’s permanent access and not just a one-time rental fee.
But it does beg the question — will all major releases be “upcharges” going forward? Is this Disney’s longterm business plan for Disney Plus? Basic access for $6.95 a month, but the major releases will cost extra? Will we see “season passes” for popular shows like The Mandalorian?
Only time will tell. This is Disney we’re talking about, and they’re hurting right now. We do think it’s odd they forgot to mention this during the meeting and it wasn’t “clarified” until today after there was a bunch of backlash on the $30 price tag.
We all know they have an uncanny knack for raiding our wallets, and an even uncannier knack for making us smile while they do it.