With many cinemas still closed around the globe and uncertainly about if people will be willing to take the risk to go to the cinema for any new releases, Disney is trailing out a brand new system for distributing their films.
The live-action remake of Mulan will be coming to Disney+ as part of the “Premier Access” program. This means Disney+ subscribers can pay an additional fee of $29.99 to gain early access to the film, for as long as they are an active member of Disney+. “Mulan” will be available to all Disney+ subscribers at a later date.
During the last quarterly financial results call, Disney CEO Bob Chapek said the release of “Mulan” on early access, would be a one-off. However, would Disney develop a whole new feature for the app just for one movie?
According to Murphy’s Multiverse, Disney is planning on releasing more movies via the “Premier Access” as they spoke with the Disney+ Help Live Chat on multiple occasions and was told by one agent “FOR NOW WE have Mulan, but when time goes by, the premier access WILL BE MORE UPDATED and more movies to watch.”
With a second agent saying “guarantee…that Disney+ will offer more amazing movies”.
I also spoke with a Disney+ Help Desk agent and was told that currently, Mulan is the only film confirmed to be released by the Walt Disney Studios through Premier Access on Disney+.
It’s not a huge surprise to hear Disney would want to offer more films via it’s Premier Access program and there could be a few options available, especially if Mulan proves successful.
Disney could release movies via Premier Access instead of being released in cinemas, such as Pixar’s Soul or Marvel’s Black Widow. Potential 6 months early access before a title becomes available to everyone with a Disney+ subscription, in line with current cinema release schedules.
Home Video Release
Disney could also offer movies via Premier Access at the same time as movies are available to buy on physical media or digitally through other platforms such as iTunes or Amazon. Potential 3 months early access before a title becomes available to everyone with a Disney+ subscription, in line with current home video schedules.
One way Disney could provide access to more titles that can be found on other streaming platforms in the US, is if they are offered at an additional cost. This could be a way of offering newer 20th Century Studio titles like “New Mutants“ or “Call of the Wild” via a potential contract loop hole. Potential 18 months early access before a title becomes available to everyone with a Disney+ subscription.
If Disney used these options to offer more titles via Disney+, it wouldn’t take anything away from existing subscribers, as titles would be arriving on Disney+ eventually. But would provide Disney with an extra revenue source. Making Disney+ a even bigger gateway into Disney’s library.
It’s important to remember, nothing has yet been officially announced by Disney for any more titles beyond Mulan.
Would you like to see more titles available early via Disney+ Premier Access?