Early reporting is showing that Mulan is having an incredible success on the Disney+ app. People were concerned that a $30 price point would keep viewers away, but that has not been the case. The movie is being downloaded at a record-setting pace. Right now it is the #1 movie watched on the site and the 2nd most popular thing watched, behind The Simpsons, which boasts over 500 episodes.
Streaming guide Reelgood claims that Mulan had a 15% share among all titles streamed (they claim 2 million people use their service). By comparison, Hamilton had a share of 9.68% on its first Disney+ weekend and last weekend, the new Bill & Ted had a 5.36% share.
Here's some quick math: if 5 million consumers buy the film, that would bring in $150 million. And almost all revenue would go to Disney.
With a reported budget of around $200 million, this means Mulan is on track to be a hit, even though the only markets where it was released theatrically so far were China and Russia.
What does this all mean?
There was some worry that having big-budget movies debut online would be hampered and not able to turn a profit. Instead, we're seeing people with an appetite to stay home and watch movies. While you could say this is all virus-related, I do think Disney is proving you can release a major title on VOD and keep most of the money. I feel like the idea of simultaneously releasing big titles at home and in theaters has to be the next step for studios.
I have a 60' TV and a soundbar that creates a really fun experience. And I am not alone—many Americans and people all over the world are enjoying movies in 4K and with premium sound quality.
While I would love to see Tenet, I don't feel safe. To me, it seems shortsighted that I cannot, and despite any early claims, I do not think you can assume it would be fiscally unviable to sell it online to people who want it.
Again, Disney asked $30 for their title and numbers indicate they had a gangbusters week one.
We'll have to monitor the dropoff in Mulan sales, and I doubt we will ever know exact numbers from Disney, but this has to be seen as a changing of the guard.
Without a vaccine, you can assume theater attendance will continue to dwindle. Studios have a whole slate of 2020 releases on the shelf, how much longer do they think it is viable to sit on them and not make money from hitting the marketplace.
You don't even need your own streaming app, you could release via Vudu or iTunes and reap the same benefits. We saw Trolls II do this earlier this year and rake in hundreds of millions of dollars.
So which studio will be next?
Got a prediction?
Let me know in the comments.