This last weekend Mulan arrived on Disney+ with Premier Access. The decision to release it on Disney+ instead of a theatrical release was controversial but it appears to have paid off for Disney. Despite viewers having to pay an extra $30 to get Premier Access and watch Mulan, the movie’s arrival on Disney+ led to a spike in downloads of the app.
According to Sensor Tower, an app download research firm, downloads of the Disney+ app spiked 68% from Friday, September 4 through Sunday, September 6, compared to one weekend prior. According to Sensor Tower, consumer spending on Disney+ also spiked 193%. This could be attributed to customers paying the $30 Premier Access fee to watch Mulan.
The Disney+ app download rate isn’t near what Hamilton brought in for Disney’s streaming service. Hamilton brought an increase of Disney+ app downloads of 79% during the first three days it was on the streaming service.
Releasing Mulan on Disney+ is a big gamble for Disney. It will be hard to tell if this gamble pays off or if Disney should have released Mulan in theaters. Perhaps it will never be known as there may not be a way to quantify it.