Mulan drove Disney+ app downloads up by 68 percent between September 4th and 6th, compared to August 28th to the 30th, according to a report from app analytics firm Sensor Tower.
While downloads themselves don’t necessarily equate to revenue, Sensor Tower also notes that consumer spending in the app also grew by 193 percent from September 4th to 6th.
In general, Mulan is in a unique position among streaming content since it has two ways to help drive revenue. In addition to requiring a Disney+ subscription, users also need to pay $34.99 CAD to access the film. This was through a unique ‘Premier Access’ offering that Disney launched exclusively for Mulan.
That said, Sensor Tower notes that the film version of Hamilton, which skipped theatres and went straight to Disney+ in July, helped Disney+ downloads surge by 79 percent during launch weekend.
Meanwhile, Apptopia, another app research firm, estimated that the Disney+ mobile app was downloaded about 674,000 times during Mulan‘s launch weekend (excluding Labour Day). This works out to a 42.7 percent increase in downloads over the average seen during the previous four weekends, says the firm.
In any case, app downloads and spending are only one small part of the equation, given that Disney+ is available on desktop, smart TVs, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, gaming consoles and more. Therefore, it remains to be seen just how successful Mulan has been for Disney.
Ultimately, Disney is betting big on Mulan on Disney+, given that the film reportedly cost $200 million USD (about $265 million CAD), excluding any marketing costs. With such a steep price tag attached, Disney is banking on Mulan driving people to Disney+ to watch what was once intended to be a big theatrical blockbuster retelling of an animated classic.
It’s important to note, however, that Disney has confirmed that Mulan will become available to all Disney+ subscribers on December 4th, 2020, regardless of Premier Access fee. As a result, it’s possible that some people will simply wait three months to avoid paying $34.99.
Further, it’s unclear whether increasing calls to boycott Mulan amid controversial political statements from star Liu Yifei, as well as news that the film was shot in a Chinese region condemned by human rights groups, has had any notable impact on the live-action remake’s performance.
Image credit: Disney