Paulie’s Perspective: Mulan Hits The Small Screen & The XFL Gets Rocked

Disney is making the first big move on going on with life with COVID. They have been holding back Mulan, much like Nolan has been holding back TENET, to release it in theaters. Well now I think Hollywood realizes that opening theaters back up will indeed take a long time. 

Disney took a huge hit from their theme parks being closed. A whopping $3.9 billion dollar hit, and that was in just 6 months. Those parks are indeed a tremendous cash cow. No wonder Disney makes movies to fill those parks up. Apparently they are way more profitable and sustainable than any movie could ever hope to be. 

Anyway, back to Mulan, the movie that Disney just had to make. Industry figures the budget for the live action cartoon come to life, was around $200 million dollars. Disney is putting it on Disney+ for a nifty pay per view price of $39.99. So they figure they need around 7 million people to pay for it, in order for Mulan to make back it’s production cost, and over 7 million orders to gain some kind of profit, marketing budget not included, but I’m sure they can swallow that. 

Disney+ has announced very recently that they reached 57 million subscribers. Netflix has 182.8 million, Amazon Prime has 112 million, HBO has 43 million, and Hulu has 30 million. That is where the streamers stand, and Disney is looking pretty good. So out of 57 million, they only need a minimum of 7 million to pay the 40 bucks to see Mulan to cover their costs. So they need about 12% of their subscribers to order the movie. Those are pretty good odds and I think they can do it and do it rather easily. 

Doing this kind of business gets Disney paid twice. So they may even need less then 12% of people to order it. If people order Disney+ and than pay the 40 bucks for Mulan, Then Disney has added $7 dollars to that order, and earned $47 for one movie, per person who does that. That is a far cry from the $10 movie ticket. 

If this model is successful, you could see other studios roll out their films in this very same manner. $40 fee to stream the latest films from the comfort of your own home. You know the industry has been pushing for this to happen anyway, and this could be their way to finally get it done. 

Netflix always wanted a level playing field without going through theater distribution, and now they finally have it, with Disney leading the way. 

In other news, The Rock and his company Seven Bucks Production has acquired the bankrupt and unwanted XFL brand. They get the rights, the intellectual property, the team names, all of it. I knew it wasn’t going to work, but I had no idea Vince McMahon was going to let it go. 

I am thinking Vince spoke to The Rock and asked if he could continue to be involved in it, since Vince was so passionate about the project for over 20 years and the two have made a lot of money for each other.

Over the years, Vince plunged more than $140 million dollars into the XFL, creating it from scratch and getting it to mainstream broadcast channels. The Rock bought it all for $15 million. Seven Bucks Production says it will take the sport forward into the digital platforms and all evolving technologies, whatever that means. Now I have no idea what to expect from all this, but Rock has an extremely solid history of hits and I would not bet against him. From the hit Titans, to Ballers, to Fast and Furious and Jumanji, which actually beat out The Rise of Skywalker in the movie theaters. So Rocky is no slouch at picking out things that work – maybe he and his partners thought of a way to use the XFL. A way that Vince just could not do. I think it’s worth the wait and see how these guys treat this sport. Could be aired on Twitter feeds, or Facebook Live, or even on a streaming platform like Hulu. I know one thing, because they paid so little for it, they can start little with it. Vince went big and had to succeed big, these guys do not, and can take their time and start slow. I am excited to see what happens, because even I want football all year round!  First however, this stupid pandemic has to end.