Disney+ scored big financial windfall with ‘Mulan’ streaming release

Disney (DIS) took a calculated risk releasing its live-action “Mulan” remake on streaming service Disney+ — which new data suggests is paying off.

According to exclusive figures provided by analytics research firm 7Park Data, nearly 29% of U.S. households that subscribe to Disney+ purchased the $30 “Mulan” film through September 12th — far surpassing other popular (and free) titles on the platform.

During the company’s last earnings report, Disney said that the streaming platform has amassed over 60 million global subscribers. Assuming that U.S. households make up 50% of that total base (Disney has not yet broken out the exact number of U.S-based subscribers), 7Park’s data suggests that roughly 9 million users purchased the “Mulan” film for $30 a pop (29% of our estimated 30 million users.)

Under that scenario, net profits would pile up to $261 million for U.S. markets alone — and that’s on the conservative side.

Still, no matter how you slice it, the end result is a whole lot of cash for Disney — which will now maintain 100% of the profits verse a traditional theatrical release where box office revenue is normally split with theater chains.

Furthermore, Sensor Tower, an app download research firm, told Yahoo Finance that downloads of Disney+ spiked 68% from Friday, September 4 through Sunday, September 6, compared to one weekend prior.

Consumer spending in the app also spiked 193%, Sensor found, which can be attributed to customers paying the one-time $30 “Mulan” access fee.

To note, Disney has not yet provided any official numbers when it comes to “Mulan’s” performance, although CFO Christine McCarthy said the company is “very pleased” with what they’ve seen so far.

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 04: General view of the atmosphere at AMC Mission Valley 20 on September 04, 2020 in San Diego, California.

The film’s perceived success comes at a time when movie theater chains are struggling to attract attendees.

Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet”, which hit U.S. theaters September 3, grossed over $207 million globally — but only about 14% of that came from domestic markets (roughly $29 million) — a disappointing result for a film once hailed as the box office’s saving grace.

Meanwhile, Disney’s international release of “Mulan” at Chinese theaters did little to soften the blow. The film fell flat overseas, amid increased backlash over its historical inaccuracies and stereotyping.

The lack of confidence in the overall theater ecosystem is likely why Disney will reportedly delay the release of Marvel’s “Black Widow.” According to Variety, the superhero flick — which was slated for November 6th — is likely to be pushed back to December or possibly even 2021.

The impending delay comes just days after Warner Bros. announced that “Wonder Woman 1984” will delay its theatrical release from early October to late December.

Alexandra is a Producer & Entertainment Correspondent at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alliecanal8193

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