Walt Disney Co. is putting its unreleased film "Mulan" — the live-action remake of the animated hit — on its new Disney+ streaming service September 4 for a fee of about $30.
Disney has already gone straight to Disney+ with a release earlier this year that was originally intended for theaters, "Artemis Fowl."
But "Mulan" is the type of big-ticket release that Disney is known for unleashing on the world with a thunderous marketing blitz.
If that type of film can go straight to Disney+, perhaps anything could.
It's also the first time Disney+ will offer a movie for a fee beyond the monthly price of the service. If you're Apple Inc., Comcast Corp. or any of the dozens of other companies that offers pay-per-view digital rentals, you're watching that move very carefully - Disney just eliminated the middleman.
Mulan will also run in theaters where it's allowed under Covid-19 restrictions. On the earnings call, Chief Executive Officer Bob Chapek called the "Mulan" streaming release a "one-off," not an overall shift in strategy.
Disney is also launching a new Star-branded TV streaming service internationally, with content from ABC, Freeform and other networks.