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Disney CFO Says Company “Very Pleased” with Performance of Mulan on Disney+ Premier Access

Jason Gurwin

At the Citi Global Technology Conference, Disney CFO Christine McCarthy, gave us our first real insights into just how well Mulan performed since it was released on Friday. The film, which was made available exclusively to Disney+ customers for $29.99 a month, through Disney+ Premier Access.

McCarthy said the decision to release Mulan through Premier Access “was really based on the fact that…in the U.S. only 68% of theaters are open. We thought that this was the best way to release Mulan into the public, not only in the U.S., but on a global basis.”

When asked about “early readings” on the success of the film, McCarthy said, “we are very pleased with what we saw over the 4-day weekend. I’ll leave it at that…we will talk more about that when we release earnings.”

According to an analysis by Samba TV, 1.12 million US households watch the movie over the four-day span, giving a projected $33.5 million domestic opening for Mulan. Samba TV data though is likely underreporting purchases since its focused on Smart TV devices, which users to unlock on another device to stream Premier Access.

The company told us they can only track on Smart TVs. In addition, if someone watches Disney+ via a mobile or web browser and casts that to their Smart TV, then Samba would would be able to track that.

McCarthy said the decision to release Mulan via Disney+ was a combination of the fact that theaters are closed in major markets like Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco, along with people being scared to go to theaters. Across demographics, McCarthy said the company felt that “at best 40%” of people would feel comfortable going to theaters. “But would a family with young kids go? Probable not.”

“Also looking at the price of Mulan, I think some people say, oh my good, it’s $29.99, that’s a lot. but if you have a family of 4, do the math. You don’t have to drive. You don’t have to park. You can make your own popcorn, and you can drink whatever you want to drink. It’s a pretty good deal, and it’s not a rental.”

In markets where Disney+ is not yet available, McCarthy said that the company just plans to add it to the Disney+ at some point, without having the Premier Access component.