Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP (AP)
As if the premium of ever-increasing streaming costs hadn’t already pummeled your monthly bank balance, Disney has announced it will charge you the obscene amount of $30 to watch its live-action remake of Mulan. No, that is not included in your subscription, and yes, you read that eye-watering figure correctly.
Disney announced the decision Tuesday during its quarterly earnings call, after announcing its service has already reached 60.5 million paid subscribers globally in well under a year of existence. And now that everyone on earth is evidently paying Disney+ to either watch The Mandalorian or babysit their kid, Disney has decided to introduce a premium video-on-demand experiment for one of the most anticipated releases of the year, because you will absolutely pay for it.
Mulan will debut on the service Sept. 4, at which time you will have the option of paying roughly four times the monthly cost you pay for the entire service to watch this single movie. Mulan will have a simultaneous theater debut, but only in overseas markets and—considering we’re still in the middle of a global pandemic—where theaters are permitted to be open.
Disney is framing this as a high-stakes, “one-off” experiment for this particular film (though who knows whether that’s being said to assuage theater owners’ fears). When asked whether this would be something the company planned to launch more widely with other films, the company said that it can “test almost anything” as a measure to try to recapture some of the money that went into making content—with the added bonus of drawing in new subscribers.
Here’s the thing about Mulan, though: You are definitely going to pay this stupidly rich company to watch this movie. Right now, families are stuck at home with children, very little stimuli, and even fewer shared interests. No one is going to movies. Trolls World Tour charged $20 for on-demand viewing, for god’s sake, and even that movie raked in 5 million downloads in just a few weeks.
The more I sit with this figure, the more I’m certain that even I—a person who just 30 minutes ago said this charge was unthinkable—would fully shove more dough into Disney’s overstuffed pockets than I already am every month just to watch something new.
That said, though, are you shitting me Disney? Leave some for my kid’s college fund, damn.