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Mulan's Disney Plus exclusive ends Tuesday, going on sale via Amazon, Vudu, others

The 2020 live-action movie has been available only on Disney Plus for an extra $30 fee since Sept. 4. It will be available for the same price Tuesday at other online stores.

A still from Mulan
Disney's live-action Mulan movie was originally planned for theatrical release in March but has been delayed multiple times during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Disney's Mulan will become more widely available Tuesday after it had been a Disney Plus exclusive since Sept. 4, with other online stores like Amazon Video, Vudu and Fandango Now already offering preorders Thursday for the $30 digital movie purchase. By going on sale outside Disney Plus and no longer requiring a $7-a-month membership for a purchase, the movie will essentially be cheaper in the other stores. 

Mulan, which Disney originally slated for theaters in March but whose release date slipped multiple times because of the coronavirus, was the latest blockbuster-style film being released as what's known as premium video on demand. But Disney took an unprecedented approach to Mulan's premiere last month: It essentially skipped theaters to premiere Mulan through its Netflix-like streaming service, charging an extra $30 fee on top of the regular membership price. And Disney Plus was the only place that it was available to purchase.

Now, less than a month since the movie became available online and in some theaters, it will be on sale for the same price in a host of online stores. 

Mulan's unusual journey underscores how disruptive the pandemic has been to Hollywood studios' meticulously planned release cycles. With theaters closed and coronavirus preventive measures keeping people stuck at home, studios have mostly decided to keep pushing back the theatrical release dates for mega-budget pictures. But with their tentpole movies in a holding pattern, studios could be setting themselves up to all release a glut of movies on top of each other, crimping ticket sales.

Already, smaller-budget films have begun going straight to online rentals or streaming services, such as Disney's decision to release its Hamilton film and its young-adult sci-fi movie Artemis Fowl on Disney Plus rather than in theaters. And Universal has released new movies like DreamWorks Animation's Trolls World Tour and others as special online rentals. 

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