Disney’s announcement this week that it will be releasing “Mulan” on streaming platform Disney+ has left one theater owner in France so upset that he posted a viral video to social media in which he destroys a “Mulan” pop-up poster with a baseball bat. The video clip has earned almost one million views and counting on Twitter. Deadline tracked down the man, Cinepal owner Gerard Lemoine, who said he it’s “very hard and devastating” to hear “Mulan” is heading to Disney+ after he spent months promoting the film at his theater in Palaiseau, a suburb south of Paris.
“It’s really a huge effort to stay open right now for most of us, but we were assuming there would be some ambitious movie releases in the coming weeks,” Lemoine told the outlet. “By losing ‘Mulan,’ we lost the possibility of offering our audiences a long-awaited film that would have helped us after these past hard weeks. It is also a bad message to send to the public [who had been expecting a theatrical release].”
Like many movie theater owners, Lemoine is now putting all his hopes on Christopher Nolan and Warner Bros.’ “Tenet” release. The espionage epic can begin rolling out in France on August 26. The owner said the viral video response has “exceeded” his expectations and added that even just the release of “Tenet” isn’t enough to sustain movie theaters.
“We thank Warner a lot for releasing ‘Tenet’ in late August,” Lemoine said. “But it’s not enough. Studios need to understand that if they cancel these films or put them on platforms, I won’t be able to last very long. I have devoted my life to showing movies and I don’t want to die!”
In countries where Disney+ is available, which includes France, “Mulan” will be available to purchase for $29.99. Viewers will need to have a Disney+ subscription in order to buy “Mulan” at the premium price. Once bought, “Mulan” will be available for viewing as long as the viewer remains a Disney+ subscriber.
While studios like Universal have skipped theaters and launched titles on PVOD amid the pandemic, this is the first time a major tentpole is being offered at a PVOD price on top of a streaming subscription price. A theatrical rollout for “Mulan” is being planned for countries that do not have Disney+, most importantly China. “Mulan” will be available to purchase September 4
La réaction d’un exploitant suite à la décision de Disney… #Mulan pic.twitter.com/I2uWICofve
— Destination Ciné (@destinationcine) August 6, 2020