I was surprised when Disney made the decision to sell Mulan on Disney+. So if you wanted to watch Mulan, you not only have to buy it, so far so good, but you have to join their subscription service first. The price for Mulan is $30 in the US, additionally to the monthly fee of streaming, $7. So the $30 don't buy you Mulan, but allow you to watch it if you keep up your subscription.
Additionally, on December 4 the movie becomes free for everyone with a Disney+ subscription.
I thought, that's a weird pricing model. Who'd pay that much money for streaming the movie a few weeks earlier? I know, it will be very long weeks due to the world being so 2020, but still. Money is tight for many people. Also, the movie had very mixed reviews and a number of controversies attached to it.
According to the linked report, Disney really knows what they're doing. 30% of subscribers bought the early streaming privilege! Disney made hundreds of millions in extra profit within three first few days (money they really will be thankful for right now given their business with the cruise ships and theme parks and movies this year).
The most interesting part is how this will affect the movie industry. Compare to Tenet - which was reviewed much better and which was the hope to revive the moribund US cinema industry, but made less than $30M - which also needs to be shared with the theaters and had much more distribution costs. Disney keeps a much larger share of the $30 for Mulan than Tenet makes for its production company.
The lesson from Mulan and Trolls 2, which also did much better than I would ever have predicted, for the production companies experimenting with novel pricing models, could be disastrous for theaters.
I think we're going to see even more experimentation with pricing models. If the new Bond movie and/or the new Marvel movie should be pulled from cinemas, this might also be the end of cinemas as we know them.
I don't know how the industry will change, but the swing is from AMC to Netflix, with the producers being caught in between. The pandemic massively accelerated this transition, as it did so many others.
Gödel's naturalization interview
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