Friday, September 4, 2020

Insert Mulan Review Here

 There's a parallel universe where Disney's live-action Mulan came to theaters, was a huge hit, we reviewed it, bought the merch, and there's talks of Oscars next year. Sadly, we're in the universe where movies were pushed back, the Oscars are in question, and Mulan is coming to streaming for an extra $30. 

And that's not necessarily a bad thing. 

Why $30? 

It's hard to imagine dropping $30 for anything on an already paid for streaming service, but as a lot of things are this year, this is a special circumstance. It's probably not surprising to learn that it cost A LOT of money to make a movie, money which is hopefully made back with ticket sales and merchandise. Mulan was an exceptionally expensive movie, considering its cast of thousands, location shooting and hundreds of other extra expenses to make the film epic. With the parks closed and other big releases pushed back, Disney Studio has to be feeling the hurt from having this $200 million dollar baby sitting in their vault collecting dust. So the film had to come out somewhere to start making a return, hence why they decided to go with the $30 on Disney+ strategy, since if they could just make some of that money back it would be great. 

Now before the cries of "They're greedy corporate pigs!" start, let's remember that at the end of the day Disney is a business. The only way they're able to make wonderful things is if people pay for it, and even in a time of crisis they can't afford to give everything away for free. The early releases of Frozen 2 and Onward  on the streaming service were done after the films either made their public ticket sales or after ticket sales were no longer going to come in, so it made sense. Mulan though never had a chance. 

The next question is: Why not just release it in theaters since other films are currently releasing like New Mutants and Wonder Woman 1984? Again this comes down to Mulan's budget. which was higher than either film, meaning that the returns had to be more. With only 25% of theaters currently open and only at 50% capacity, Mulan was not going to make its money back there either. The streaming fee seemed like the best option. 

So Why Didn't We Get It? 

Now that I'm done defending Disney's controversial actions, let me explain why we don't have a formal review on here, since nobody on the blog ended up forking out the $30 to see the movie. 

The $30 price point is reasonable compared to the price of tickets one may spend when bringing their family (parents, kids, or maybe a Mushu loving cat) and when concessions are taken in it actually comes out to be a bargain. The thing is, nobody on this blog has that kind of family situation. For families consisting of two adults and maybe an infant, the price is just not worth it. $30 to see a film that'll be on our already paid for streaming service later this year anyway just does not work for us. So we all made the choice to not get it, based on our own economic situation. 

That being said, we're not saying that it's wrong to purchase Mulan for $30 if that's what you and your family want. Even if it's just for yourself or you and the spouse, if you feel it's worth it then more power to you, make it rain. At this point the film is releasing like a free-to-play video game, like Pokemon Go releases. You can play for free to your heart's content, but if you want to pay the option is there, and on the back end enough people are willing to pay that it keeps the lights on at the company and allows more content to be produced. It's not a new business model, it's just the first time we've really seen it applied to film, and it needs to be the individuals choice weather or not they want to or can pay the entrance fee. 


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