Disney’s most ambitious and highly anticipated project, “Mulan,” has faced many rescheduled release dates owing to the coronavirus pandemic. As much as the makers want to ensure that it will fill movie theatres, there's just no way of doing that given the situation.

As the pandemic gives no sign of abetting anytime soon, Disney's live-action adaptation of "Mulan" has finally been moved to a release date of Sept. 4 when it will debut exclusively to Disney+ subscribers in the U.S. for $29.99.

From the very beginning, Disney had been clear that Mulan’s major target audience was China. But even there, where the coronavirus pandemic is in its last phase, movie theatres have only opened in “low-risk regions.” They are only allowing 30% maximum capacity, the number of screenings has been halved, and movies crossing the 2-hour timeline will not be screened. 2-hour mark (Mulan does). 

In the U.S., the COVID-19 cases and subsequent deaths continue to climb making it impossible for movie theatres to open, in any capacity. Thus “Mulan,” which was initially scheduled to come out March 27, was pushed to open July 24, then to Aug. 21, followed by being delayed indefinitely last month. Its premiere on Disney+ on Sept. 4 comes as a positive development, apart from the fact that it will be available on rental, where a viewer would have to pay $29.99 (over their subscription fee) to stream it. 

The prices vary slightly for subscribers in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and parts of Western Europe and in countries where Disney+ is not available, "Mulan" will be released in theatres on the same date. 

“Mulan” is the first Disney movie that is skipping its theatrical release and opting to debut on the streaming platform directly. As for future movies under the banner releasing directly on the platform, during and after the pandemic, Disney’s CEO Bob Chapek has assured that “Mulan” releasing on Disney+ is not sealing the path for the other films the company makes. 

“We’re looking at ‘Mulan’ as a one-off as opposed to saying there’s some new business windowing model that we’re looking at,” Chapek said.

But Disney has other films that were supposed to release by the end of 2020. And if theatres remain closed, chances are that Disney+ will see more high-budget films like "Mulan" adjusting to whatever profit they can make from streaming subscriptions. 

'Mulan' The live-action remake of Disney's 'Mulan' will hit theaters on March 27, 2020. Facebook/WaltDisneyMulan