"Mulan," a mega-budget live action remake of the tale of a legendary Chinese warrior, will be available from September 4 in homes to Disney+ subscribers for an additional $29.99.
Walt Disney Co's live-action epic 'Mulan' will skip most of the world's movie theaters and go directly to the company's streaming platform in September.
US subscribers to Disney+ will need to pay $30 to stream the film in their homes, Disney Chief Executive Bob Chapek said on a call with investors after the company reported quarterly earnings.
The cost will vary slightly in other countries including Canada, Australia and New Zealand and in parts of Western Europe, Chapek said. The decision came amid uncertainty about when big movie theater chains in the United States will be able to reopen after being shuttered since mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic.
'Mulan' will be released September 4 in movie theaters that do not currently have the Disney+ platform and where movie theaters are back in business, Chapek added. The movie, reported to have cost $200 million to produce, is a remake of an animated Disney classic about a female Chinese warrior and stars Yifei Liu in the title role.
"We see this as an opportunity to bring this incredible film to a broad audience currently unable to go to movie theaters, while also further enhancing the value and attractiveness of a Disney+ subscription," CEO Bob Chapek told an earnings call.
One-time shift amid the pandemic
The film will launch simultaneously in theaters in territories such as China which do not have currently announced Disney+ launch plans.
Disney's shift on 'Mulan' followed a deal in July between Comcast Corp's Universal Pictures and cinema chain AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc to allow the studio to release films directly to consumers after just three weeks in theaters, down from the average three months.
Chapek said the plan for 'Mulan' represented a one-time shift amid the pandemic and did not signal a change to Disney's long-term film strategy.
'Mulan' had been scheduled to reach theaters in March, but its release has been postponed several times as many cinemas remain closed. Most recently, it was set to debut August 21, and theater operators had hoped it would help spark a late-summer rebound for movie-going.
Last month, Disney said it was postponing the debut of 'Mulan' indefinitely while it assessed its options.