No details were released about the pact, but it closes an important gap in terms of enabling payments for Disney+ viewers. Mulan is available as a $30 premium title for subscribers to Disney+, a new twist on the film release model prompted by COVID-19.
The big-budget remake of Disney’s 1998 animated feature had been slated for theatrical release on March 27. It is out today via Disney+ in territories where the service is available; elsewhere it will get a theatrical run, and on December 4 it will become available at no charge to all Disney+ subscribers.
Roku, Apple and Google had previously been confirmed as in-app payment partners. That means viewers interested in seeing Mulan do not have to go to disneyplus.com to make the purchase, a clunky experience.
The pattern for Mulan in terms of Amazon Fire availability mirrors the period around the launch of Disney+ last November. Less than a week before the November 12 arrival of Disney+ in the U.S., Amazon and Disney reached a deal.
Major digital outlets, particularly Amazon Fire and Roku, are exerting increasing influence in the streaming era. Both companies have yet to reach deals to carry HBO Max and Peacock due to differences on terms.
In an interview with Deadline, Roku content VP Tedd Cittadine, formerly a digital distribution exec at 20th Century Fox, said the changes in release windows are a net positive for consumers. “We’ve been waiting for this moment as an industry for a number of years,” he said. “Consumers ultimately are going to drive this business model.” Mulan‘s precedent-setting debut, he added, “is just another sign that the world is moving to streaming.”