UK cinemas have publicly criticised Disney regarding their decision to release Mulan straight away on Disney+.
This week we learned that Disney, due to the impacts of the pandemic, has decided to skip a traditional cinema release and bring Mulan to Disney+ straight away. Subscribers will be able to stream the film for $29.99.
This decision hasn’t gone down well with cinemas in the UK and the body that represents them, UK Cinema Association, has hit out at Disney (per Deadline), with one cinema owner calling the move a “fuck you to exhibitors.”
In a statement to Deadline, the association said: “While no one under-estimates the challenges facing studio colleagues, at a time when many operators are showing faith in our business by investing in the safeguards necessary to re-open, we need the major studios – and film distributors in general – to do the same. First and foremost, it will deprive hundreds of thousands of cinema-goers of the chance to see such an impressive film in the best possible environment, the cinema theatre. With cinemas across the UK now continuing to re-open and welcome back their customers, the decision by Disney yesterday to put Mulan on their Disney+ service and not into cinemas will be seen by many as hugely disappointing and mistimed.”
At a time when cinemas are struggling to stay afloat due to the lockdown, it’s not surprising that news of a massive blockbuster skipping a cinematic release is going to hurt. Hopefully, studios can find a way to support cinemas around the world during these difficult times.
When the Emperor of China issues a decree that one man per family must serve in the Imperial Army to defend the country from Northern invaders, Hua Mulan, the eldest daughter of an honored warrior, steps in to take the place of her ailing father. Masquerading as a man, Hua Jun, she is tested every step of the way and must harness her inner-strength and embrace her true potential. It is an epic journey that will transform her into an honored warrior and earn her the respect of a grateful nation…and a proud father. “Mulan” features a celebrated international cast that includes: Yifei Liu as Mulan; Donnie Yen as Commander Tung; Jason Scott Lee as Böri Khan; Yoson An as Cheng Honghui; with Gong Li as Xianniang and Jet Li as the Emperor. The film is directed by Niki Caro from a screenplay by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver and Elizabeth Martin & Lauren Hynek based on the narrative poem “The Ballad of Mulan.”