Mulan coming to Disney Plus



  • It's really hard for you to view this without the bias of your own personal opinion, huh?
    Maybe that's why you continue to misconstrue what we are even discussing.
    Do you think I'm defending what Disney is doing? No, I just disagree in what they are going for. I'm not the one who's claiming that this is a cash grab, when it's in fact - the exact opposite. This is the long game. The same long game Disney plays with many of their other properties.

    Is it though? We've seen these mega corporations do this time and time again, test the lines of just how much fans will pay or put up with before enough of a stink is raised that they have to dial it back some.

    When's the last time Disney lowered the cost of anything?

    you can't put a price of "Disney Magic", right? That's how Disney has bled their fans time and time again over the years.

    That is literally Disney's job. To put a price on their brand and then to justify that price to their customers.
    The same with any other company. Shoes cost like a few dollars. Food is cheap. People will often pay more to companies who in some way justify the additional cost. Whether it's through quality, or even just marketing.

    You make it sound like you believe "Disney" is a nice guy and not a corporation trying to make as much money as they can.

    Is Disney a "good guy"? No, but neither are they a villain. Good and bad are not metrics in business. Disney is shrewd and forward thinking. They are not producing these films out of the goodness of their heart or really individually to make money in the short term. They expect films to be profitable, to retain their value, but in situations like this, the main goal is to increase the overall value of the Disney brand. Doesn't always work that way, but the overall history of Disney shows that they are generally very successful. They are very much in the business of selling Disney to people. Getting as much money as you can is what you call "a successful business". Whether that's good or bad, I guess depends on your politics,

    It isn't on me to justify Disney's ridiculous pricepoint for them. It is clearly way more than I'd ever spend for this kind of service.

    I am not talking about justifying the price point TO YOU OR ME. It's also more than I'd ever spend on this. That has been made abundantly clear. We are not discussing US, we are discussing the people they are actually selling this to. It requires you to step outside your own interests and see things from another person's perspective. It seems you have a great amount of contempt for others, or at least your tone and words indicate as much.

    If they wanted to make "more money" in the short term, recoup their costs in 2020, they are going about it in the stupidest way possible. I think we all agree that they'd sell more, at likely a higher total profit if they released it wide on VOD and charged less. They will make LESS money this year, this way, than if they'd have released their movie like Trolls or any of the other 2020 summer VOD kids movies. Their goal is to retain control of their 200 million dollar Summer Blockbuster tentpole movie because Disney's entire movie library maintains it's value based on the perception of quality and the principle or threat of artificial scarcity. (like diamonds). They are attempting to extend Mulan's "legs" as they say. Holiday season 2021 rolls around, and Mulan's 4k Blu Ray is selling well at $30, and kids are dressing up as Mulan to go trick-or-treating (if that ever happens again) while Blu Ray Scoob! is in the $2.99 bin at Walmart Black Friday.

    Way more expensive. You don't own it forever as it is tied to your subscription of Disney Plus. You're paying for a subscription service that is selling you "premium" products for steep additional fees now instead of including everything.

    I agree that it's way more expensive as compared to regular VOD wide-releases. Again though, that's because this isn't a wide-release rental VOD.
    Also, just semantics - but you don't own ANY digital media. You don't legally own anything playable from physical media either, it's just harder for the owners to revoke licenses on physical media. This may be semantics to us, but it's not to anybody who actually licenses media.

    This is a high budget Disney summer tentpole movie. People would have taken their families to see this in theaters for twice this price, had circumstances been normal. They may not have for those other films, or waited for a cheap rental because those other films are market-wise "less valued". This is a purposeful and cultivated brand image. Lion King made 1.6 billion dollars at the box office a year ago. Arguing that this kind of product from Disney is exactly the same as Trolls World Tour is not accurate in anything but the most tone-deaf sense. You keep saying that my point is that Disney is overpriced "because they can, and people will pay it" is factually incorrect. Disney is "overpriced" because they have cultivated the perception that their goods are worth more than that of their competition. That hasn't happened overnight, and it's not limited to this film, this year, this medium, or even this company. Many brands have cultivated similar perceptions over the years. Outside of your indignation that a company is good at what a company is supposed to be good at, it seems like we generally agree.

    Disney doesn't have to "test how much consumers will pay" If they are still testing at this stage, they are bad at their jobs. They know how their target market will see this pricing. That's the point. Disney isn't some amateur hour company, this price point has been vetted, focused grouped, and debated to death internally. 500 marketing experts, stock analysts, and executives have touched this price by now and this is the closest thing they've come to as a consensus. Will it meet their projections on sales? I do not know. I wouldn't bet against Disney, but I also do not think it's going to be the top VOD release of the year. I could be wrong. I'm pretty sure they've already written off the projected losses on this movie off on their tax sheets.

    Many people with families will see $30 as reasonable because, despite your assertions, this isn't the same product as Trolls or Scoob! Reducing all these films to having the same intrinsic value is... well, reductive. You even acknowledge as much with your judgment laden statement: "Disney fans who are used to paying ridiculous prices for Disney things and have enough disposable income to not care." Yes, you briefly touched in your own way here on the essence of what a successful business strategy is. People pay more because their perception of a brand, or the presentation, or experience of a thing is more valuable then the basic sum of it's cost. To all the people who spent money on The Lion King last year (all in all, a C-tier movie, IMO) that's what Disney movies are worth.

    Whether it's true to everybody or not, this is the basis of Disney's entire company-wide marketing strategy forever. For years, people into animated Disney feature films pointed out the low quality animation of their competitors. Movies like Ralph Bakshi's Wizards, most Japanese Animation, even modern competitors like Dreamworks Animation get this treatment. They are not "Disney tier" and are valued less commercially, and generally, critically.

    Disney isn't pricing this at $30 because they "think they can get away with it". They are pricing it at $30 because their market research is telling them that this is the optimum price point for their current goals, which is to have a valued, viable product they can continue to release and re-release at roughly the same value for as long as possible that will benefit the Disney brand in the long run. Next year when the 4k Blu Ray comes out, it's also probably gonna be $30 MSRP.

    So the pricing is not just because "they can", as if Disney just fell out of the sky with inherent pricing advantage and everybody is beholden to pay that cost. The pricing is what it is because that's what they believe that the consumers they are targeting have their product valued at. They CAN price Mulan higher or lower. So "because they can" is a largely meaningless statement without the context. The price point they've gone with was determined to fit the market they are selling the product to, it just happens that it's not us.

    Who said coincidence? What midunderstanding? People have the disposable income and consider themselves fans of a thing, so they pay exorbitant prices for that thing. Pretty simple.

    I am only arguing against the assertion that this is some pricing "experiment" that could "fail". Disney isn't going to, like a week into this, lower the price on this if it doesn't do the sales they expect to try and drive more sales. That cost is already sunk. They may re-evaluate if/when it comes to the regular subscription service based on sales, but I highly doubt you're going to see a price adjustment with this model.



  • I mean, it's hard to come up with a comparable property that i feel like would/could have the same model. I doubt Star Wars can NOW, but had Covid happened during the year The Force Awakens come out, I can see something similar taking place. (not that Mulan is as anticipated, but just generally a movie that has such a wide potential appeal)

    Maybe outside of the Disney Co properties, maybe one of the Harry Potter movies could also have done something similar.



  • @tokyoslim said:

    It's really hard for you to view this without the bias of your own personal opinion, huh?

    You want me to think not like me? I've read and understood all the ideas you guys have floated. I simply don't find them compelling.

    you continue to misconstrue what we are even discussing

    In what way? I don't mean to. I thought writing everything out in a direct response way before would clear that up as I could be as exact as needed to keep things clear, even though it ended up being insanely long as a result.

    I'm not the one who's claiming that this is a cash grab, when it's in fact - the exact opposite. This is the long game.

    That's what I believe too. It is to hook people to feel obligated to continue to subscribe to Disney Plus long after they get tired of the selection on it.

    When's the last time Disney lowered the cost of anything?

    You never need to with a fandom that loyal.

    Getting as much money as you can is what you call "a successful business".

    We agree here too apparently.

    we are discussing the people they are actually selling this to

    That speaks to as if I wasn't interested in seeing the movie to begin with, which isn't the case. What prevents me from seeing it is the overpriced barrier of entry. I could be among the target audience if they weren't being so stingy about the cost, which I believe you agree with, since you bring up how they could probably do better offering it for cheaper. Although it is true I don't love Disney enough to ignore how bad the deal is and just buy it anyways.

    It seems you have a great amount of contempt for others

    I think the feeling is closer to disappointment. There are times I wish people could exercise more restraint than they appear to be capable of. Honestly, Covid times have been full of these frustrating little parables, even when lives are on the line.

    They are attempting to extend Mulan's "legs" as they say. Holiday season 2021 rolls around, and Mulan's 4k Blu Ray is selling well at $30, and kids are dressing up as Mulan to go trick-or-treating (if that ever happens again) while Blu Ray Scoob! is in the $2.99 bin at Walmart Black Friday.

    I don't know about that. Wouldn't offering it separately through such easy means later kind of ruin what they have going with this current scheme? I guess they do have the Disney Vault to make it super limited run and strongarm people into paying for it twice back to back in a short period. It could go that way I suppose. Let's be real though. Scoob! was always going to end up in the bargain bin.

    Also, just semantics - but you don't own ANY digital media.

    You got what I meant.

    This is a high budget Disney summer tentpole movie.

    That only really affects the number of people who want to see it, not the price of seeing it.

    People would have taken their families to see this in theaters for twice this price, had circumstances been normal.

    Some would. Others would wait for it to hit rental services. Either way, I don't see how this justifies it. They get to charge more because they weren't able to show it in theatres at release? That's not the consumer's fault, and the consumer isn't getting an equal experience like going to the movies from watching it from their house. Not to sound cold, but then again Disney has fucktons of money so who cares, but really this should be at worst a loss on their end due to crazy circumstances, but since this is Disney we're talking about, pretty much no matter what they did with the movie, we all know longterm they would've eventually made their investments back.

    Arguing that this kind of product from Disney is exactly the same as Trolls World Tour is not accurate in anything but the most tone-deaf sense.

    Again, normally they'd be priced the same, well Trolls World Tour might not be the best comparison, but at least more similar in price, and Mulan would've just made way more in sales by having more people interested in it and for a much longer period.

    You keep saying that my point is that Disney is overpriced "because they can, and people will pay it" is factually incorrect. Disney is "overpriced" because they have cultivated the perception that their goods are worth more than that of their competition.

    How is that any different than because they can and people will pay it? That's just part of the reason why they can and why people will pay it.

    They know how their target market will see this pricing.

    Focus groups don't always work out. They're actually frequently pretty dumb. We wouldn't have had this outrage had their focus test for this one predicted it beforehand, but clearly there was a skew.

    Many people with families will see $30 as reasonable because, despite your assertions, this isn't the same product as Trolls or Scoob! Reducing all these films to having the same intrinsic value is... well, reductive.

    It isn't the same thing at all, and we've already gone over the reasons why. It isn't simply because this is "a higher budget" movie or whatever. $30 isn't the root of the problem here, so if anyone is being reductive in this sense, I believe it to be you.

    They are not "Disney tier" and are valued less commercially, and generally, critically.

    This usually comes out by way of volume of interest though, not a straight up price differential to see the product. You don't pay more to see a Disney movie in the theatre than you do to see the Dreamworks one. The only sense in which this has ever been relevant MAYBE is price retention when selling the movie later down the road, with the Disney ones maintaining a higher sticker price for longer, but I think even then you end up seeing that more often, because Disney tends to vault things when they would become cheap, so they can later reintroduce them in new packaging to reinstate the higher price.

    Disney isn't pricing this at $30 because they "think they can get away with it". They are pricing it at $30 because their market research is telling them that this is the optimum price point

    ...they can get away with. You're not even disagreeing with me really. You're just explaining exactly what I've said in less general terms while acting like it is different when really it isn't any different at all. I feel like you should understand that too given how many times you admitted to agreeing with me while writing that. We're basically saying the same thing for the most part. You might have a theory or two I'm unsure if I agree with, but generally we're on the same page despite how much you want to make it seem otherwise.

    They CAN price Mulan higher or lower. So "because they can" is a largely meaningless statement without the context.

    They CAN price it higher, but clearly they CAN'T get away with pricing it higher or even at this price if these discussions right now are any indicator. I don't think it is meaningless. I think it is a succinct way of expressing it. It is fine to look for the why and try to pick them apart and figure out how you could mimic what they do to try and achieve the same level of success yourself or whatever, but as far as more directly commenting on this singular instance, simply saying because they can is plenty sufficient. People get what you mean without explaining the brand marketing behind it all.

    The price point they've gone with was determined to fit the market they are selling the product to, it just happens that it's not us.

    This is what I disagree with. We're part of that market, or at least I am. I don't know whether you care about the movie or not. It simply failed to reach us or me. It might catch some of the potential market, but I'm not putting Disney on a pedestal to seem like they're always making the best, most perfect decisions at all times. I think this has been a case of failure on their part, and while it still may be valuable as a scheme or to test the limits, I think this instance will not turn out as perfectly as their eggheads initially predicted, whether that becomes a show of lower than projected sales or outright brand damage. Had this thing gone perfectly, we instead never would've had this discussion, and Disney would stealthily be training their fans to become all the more dependent on Disney Plus in the longterm with effectively none the wiser. It won't end up a huge loss, due to the never ending support of their hardest core of fans, but I'd chalk this one up as a misstep for sure.

    Disney isn't going to, like a week into this, lower the price on this if it doesn't do the sales they expect to try and drive more sales.

    Prices are always changing, so I wouldn't be so sure. I expect the usual corporate stubbornness, unwilling to publicly admit they made a mistake here, but I can see them soft adjusting the cost for the next one in line, if that ever becomes a thing, since this is already a pretty weird situation that just might not ever even have a repeat. I doubt they're done playing with the model though, although part of that will depend how successful or not this ends up being.

    I mean, it's hard to come up with a comparable property that i feel like would/could have the same model.

    Star Wars

    Harry Potter

    Basically just things people love enough to overpay for, anything a wide enough net of the public is fanboy tier over. Honestly, this whole discussion my mind is just thinking about Pokemon Sword / Shield and how well that sold despite everything, including the DLC. They got me too, so make no mistake. I'm not saying I'm any better when it comes to the things I love. I do try to exercise my own restraint when it makes sense to me though. You have to vote with your wallet or these companies, worse than simply walking all over you, these companies will just get lazy and insult you with trash while people buy it anyways. You absolutely need to take a stand sometimes, even if you feel like your singular stand will make very little difference overall. For me, $30 Digital Mulan I don't really own that requires me to keep buying Disney Plus forever is a very easy stand to take. Don't tell me that choice means it wasn't for me to begin with. That's not how this works.



  • €30 that's what I would be willing to pay for a full year subscription of Disney.



  • Again, normally they'd be priced the same, well Trolls World Tour might not be the best comparison.

    This year it is it's direct competition. And if it were a normal year, it wouldn't be, as Mulan would make a billion plus dollars at the box office, and Trolls would not. Right now Trolls is the big fish in the pond, having sold $100m in digital downloads. That's the entire point. Trolls and Mulan are two completely different things. You (not you specifically, but a generic you with a wife and two kids) would have more readily paid ~$80-$100 to see Mulan in theaters than you would have Trolls World Tour, which you would have been more likely to rent. This is not a hypothetical. There is a drastic difference in actual projected dollars spent on each product per household. Which is why THIS:

    That only really affects the number of people who want to see it, not the price of seeing it.

    is not functionally true. The cost of each individual ticket is roughly the same, but per capita household, the number of tickets purchased for Mulan in a regular year is projected to be much higher than Trolls. The price of Mulan IS higher than the price of Trolls.

    You're just explaining exactly what I've said in less general terms

    Why is the sky blue? "Because it is" isn't a helpful answer. "Because of the wavelength of refracted light captured by the atmosphere" is a more accurate, better answer. Both are technically true, but one of them a layman's explanation of the actual reason, and one of them is what people say when they don't actually know what the reason is. :)

    while acting like it is different when really it isn't any different at all.

    I am not the one acting like what I'm saying is different. I am explaining why Disney is doing what they are doing. "because they can" is not a reason. It might be true, in the same vein as the same way both answers about the sky are - but one of them is a reason and one of them is a platitude.

    ...they can get away with.

    If you don't think there's a model in which they can successfully propose to charge a $50+ PPV that they can sell, I've got news for ya. :)
    UFC 251, a mediocre card, was pay per view at $65 plus a paid annual subscription to ESPN+ and got over a 1.3 million purchases. That's not even that uncommon. This is essentially that, at a lower cost. They are pricing for families, instead of a couple of bro's from the gym or whatever, but the model is the same. If anybody wanted to make a spectacle out of a tentpole movie on PPV, it would be Disney.

    They CAN price it higher, but clearly they CAN'T get away with pricing it higher

    Again, strong disagree. They clearly could. They choose not to because it doesn't mesh with their future plans. But if the option wasn't on the table, then Disney isn't doing their job.

    This is what I disagree with. We're part of that market, or at least I am.

    You WANT to be part of the market, you think you SHOULD be part of the market because of your general interest in the film - but you and I are clearly not being marketed to. Which is where you seem to be having the issue. You wouldn't pay $30 for Mulan, neither would I. Disney is fine with that. That's because that price point isn't directed AT US. Not everything is. Disney has examined it's core audience, found that most of the people they expect to see this movie in the first few months are families (parents with children) and set the price point to provide them value. This excludes me, right now and it seems like it excludes you.

    it still may be valuable as a scheme or to test the limits, I think this instance will not turn out as perfectly as their eggheads initially predicted, whether that becomes a show of lower than projected sales or outright brand damage.

    Again, I would not categorize this as an "experiment". The prediction, as I've already pointed out - is likely that Mulan is taking a large initial loss. Those "eggheads" aren't stupid. They aren't going to make their money back this year. Even if they did UFC pay per view numbers, they'd be taking a large loss. Even if they did both Trolls AND Scoob! numbers they'd be taking a large loss. They have switched over to writing this off and trying to extend it's life cycle as far as they can.

    And brand damage? lol The very notion that people are capable of "turning on Disney" over $30 is one of the most absurd things I've heard in this thread. There will be no brand damage.

    Had this thing gone perfectly, we instead never would've had this discussion

    Had this thing gone perfectly, they would have had a theatrical release, and Mulan would have made over a billion dollars in ticket sales.



  • @phbz The cheapest price was probably the initial 3 years offer for $140USD, which given the exchange rate, works out to about 39 euro per year. It's more than that now. It's the equivalent of 60 euro a year now. And they have over 55 million subscribers currently.



  • @TokyoSlim I was going to continue the discussion, but on top of continuing to prop Disney up on a pedestal and imply you have deity level knowledge of their inner workings, you're just flat out being rude now and talking down to instead of discussing with. That's simply unfun to converse with and sucks even more when I thought we were finding common ground before.



  • Pedestal? Despite your assertion to the contrary, you don't appear to be comprehending any of what I'm saying. lol
    I'm being more critical of Disney than YOU are. You think they are just blindly fumbling around experimenting with pricing schemes and if they don't work are going to course correct like they don't know what they are doing. I'm pretty sure this is a multi-year plan designed to wring the absolute most money possible out of Mulan through cycled availability and carefully plotted format releases. (something Disney has been known to do regularly) They won't course correct, because whether or not any individual stage of this cycle sells as planned, it doesn't really matter. They've already decided to absorb the initial loss by doing it this way.

    I admire the business acumen, that's all. I find the way they are going about this interesting, but I don't particularly think it's "evil" in any way that I don't already find capitalism as a whole "evil". This is the entire point of capitalism.



  • I can't think of a more succinctly structured clip. Doesn't seem like there's a lot of outrage here. lol

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  • Thought I would give an update that I didn't buy Mulan