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the flower that blooms in adversity

While I scoffed at the initial price, Mulan might be the most reasonable “home and theater” premiere of 2020.

Mulan on Disney+Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central

When Disney announced during its second quarter earnings report that Mulan was going to be the latest film of Disney’s to come to Disney+ ahead early as theaters remain largely closed and home release windows get warped by the pandemic. Unlike Hamilton and Frozen II, though, Mulan was going to be a $30 upcharge on top of being a Disney+ subscriber, sparking outrage among fans and observers as Disney charged $10 more than competitors like Universal.

Turns out, Disney actually isn’t overcharging for a rental. That $30 is an outright purchase, unlocking the film early on D+ and allowing you to watch it as many times as you like between September 4 and whenever the film comes to free D+ subscribers.

And that makes Mulan’s pricing much more reasonable.

The other “home + theatrical premieres” we’ve seen this summer — like Trolls World Tour — have been $20 48-hour rentals for the first few months until they reach their actual “home release” window, at which point users can then buy the movie outright for $20 and rentals go down to more reasonable rates. The pricing here may seem steep, but if you’re watching it with a family of six, $20 at home beats $60 at the box office, not to mention you can watch the movie at your kids’ pace and re-watch the movie a few times before that two-day window expires.

For Mulan, however, you get a higher upfront fee to eliminate the secondary purchase fee down the road. $30 would maybe cover three movie tickets at a theater, but instead, you’re essentially purchasing the film through Disney+ 3-4 months before its intended home release window. You’ll be able to download the movie for offline playback — though just like buying a film from Google Play or iTunes, you can’t download an unencrypted version of the movie to add to Plex or a personal media server — and you can watch it as many times as you want on any and every platform Disney+ is compatible with.

Disney movies on Movies Anywhere

Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central

Do I wish that this price was an actual digital retailer purchase so that I could add the movie to my Movies Anywhere library and watch it on Google Play or Amazon Prime? Yeah, because if you stop subscribing to Disney+, you lose access to the movie.

On the other hand, do I blame Disney for wanting to keep a highly-anticipated movie on its most important service, further cementing Disney+ as a “must-have” subscription? Nah, you can hate the player but you gotta respect the hustle.

While many have said that they’d rather see Black Widow get this treatment than Mulan, I think it’s far more reasonable for Disney to test the waters with the remake. If customers unilaterally shun this system and wait for Mulan to eventually come to all Disney+ subscribers — I’m guessing around Christmas or Valentine’s Day? — then Disney will learn from it and can either hold off on Black Widow again or try a different tactic.

Mulan Premier Access

Source: Disney+

Either way, $30 to buy a movie while it’s debuting in international theaters beats the pants off a 48-hour rental, and I am here for it.

I’m ready, let’s go



Disney+

Bring on the magic!

From the oldest Disney classics to the latest blockbuster releases, Disney+ is the one-stop-shop for all the movies we want to watch, though you’ll have to pay extra for Mulan.

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Ara Wagoner

Ara Wagoner is a Writer at Android Central. She themes phones and pokes Google Play Music with a stick. When she’s not writing help and how-to’s, she’s off dreaming about Disney and singing show tunes. If you see her without headphones, RUN. You can follow her on Twitter at @arawagco.

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