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Mulan Made $33.5 Million In First Weekend On Disney+

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Disney's new Mulan has raked in $33.5 million from this past Labor Day weekend alone. Mulan is a live-action adaptation of the 1998 Disney classic, and follows the titular character as she disguises as a man and joins the Chinese army in order to save her father's life. The movie released on Disney+ last week via the streaming service's premier access platform.

Of course, Mulan wasn't originally intended for Disney+. In fact, the film was initially slated for a March 9 premiere on the silver screen. However, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic meant the film was delayed first to July and later to August, before executives finally made the decision to put Mulan on Disney+. While Mulan will still have a theatrical release in countries where the threat of COVID-19 has been tempered, it was released on the subscription streaming platform on Sept. 4. That being said, eager viewers need to shell out a fee of $29.99, which is added on top of the platform's subscription costs, in order to access Mulan.

Now, MediaPost reports that this decision to charge for Mulan has netted Disney $33.5 million in its opening weekend alone. Samba TV, a viewer tracking company, estimates the film has been seen in around 1.12 million homes across the United States. In addition, consumer demand for Mulan has sharply increased Disney+ downloads by over 68 percent, showcasing the massive popularity of the live-action adaptation.

Mulan's price tag is significantly higher than the cost of a regular movie ticket. Estimates from the National Association of Theater Owners say that the price of an average movie ticket in the fourth quarter of 2019 was only $9.37, so the cost to see Mulan is over three times that amount. It's worth mentioning that Disney has now made $33.5 million in pure profit as well, as there's no need to provide theaters or any other platforms with a share of earnings.

That being said, just because Mulan was massively profitably during its opening weekend doesn't necessarily mean this trend will keep up. The film's release has been met with a resurgence in criticism, including fresh pushback against star Liu Yifei's comments supporting Hong Kong police brutality against protesters. Another point of criticism has been the movie's whitewashed crew; aside from the East Asian cast - which, if anything, seems like a bare minimum for this film - Mulan's writing and directing team were entirely white. As such, while Mulan may have shattered expectations and pulled people in during Labor Day weekend, it seems the film may have an uphill battle to keep up such a momentum.
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