A quote from Disney CFO Christine McCarthy about Mulan and PVOD, and a piece on the “death” of theatrical distribution from The Ankler, suggest two futures for theatrical distribution:

  1. a more complicated “portfolio” of simultaneous and windowed distribution models involving flexible pricing and mixed revenues (which we have seen already in Disney’s PVOD+SVOD model for Mulan and/or Universal’s PVOD rental model for Trolls World Tour), or
  2. a less complicated future of two to three streaming giants producing “90% of non-micro-budgeted blockbusters”, resulting in a marketplace of studio talent consisting of haves (“a handful of mega-brand talents are paid giant fees”) and have nots (“everyone else who is not say one of the top 30 people in their craft, are increasingly squeezed for smaller paychecks with no back end”)

All available evidence about Disney’s Mulan experiment suggests that the simpler model will win out.

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