Disney has been a titan of the film industry for decades and that certainly hasn’t changed in recent years.
From the Marvel Cinematic Universe to Walt Disney Studios films, there are a lot of movies coming from the Walt Disney Company. With the global health situation, Disney has made some changes to the way their films are released. For instance, you can now buy select newly released blockbusters through Premier Access on Disney+. But how much money has Disney actually made through this process?
What is Disney+ Premier Access?
To start, let’s break down Disney+ Premier Access. This option in Disney’s streaming service is an upcharge feature that allows Disney+ subscribers to pay a (typically $30) one-time fee in order to watch a movie early before it is released to all Disney+ members. In recent instances, movies have become available on Premier Access at the same time that they head to theaters.
Purchasers get unlimited access to these movies as long as they remain Disney+ subscribers. Then, after a few months, these movies are typically released to the rest of the subscribers without an additional charge. The Premier Access window typically lasts around three months. This three-month period is similar to the release window that studios typically use for theatrical movie premieres before they’re allowed to debut on home video.
Which movies have been released through Disney+ Premier Access?
Disney is not releasing ALL new films on Premier Access, but five so far have been featured on the service: Mulan, Raya and the Last Dragon, Cruella, Black Widow, and Jungle Cruise.
Notably, new Pixar films, like Luca, have skipped the Premier Access release and been made available for no charge to all Disney+ subscribers.
How much has Disney+ made with Premier Access movies?
So, now to the big question: How much has Disney+ made with Premier Access movies? This is a relatively difficult question as Disney has not been releasing (and doesn’t have to release) full figures for all of the movies on Premier Access. Typically, we have box office figures to reference, and these are pretty black and white. But the numbers aren’t so clear through a streaming service. Let’s take a look at each film!
As of opening weekend for Jungle Cruise, the film had made $30 million from Disney+ Premier Access. To compare, it made $61.8 million at the global box office. Just before, Black Widow‘s opening weekend brought $60 million on Disney+ and $158 million at the global box office; according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Per The Wrap, Cruella debuted to a global $43 million in theaters. Disney+ did not release the opening week data for streaming, but according to Deadline‘s data from Samba TV, the film likely made around $21.51 million on Disney+.
Raya and the Last Dragon made $26.2 million on its global box office opening weekend, per the Hollywood Reporter. Disney did not release figures for this film either so it’s unclear how well it performed, but according to Business Insider, it received 20% fewer purchases than Mulan. Using the Mulan numbers, that would mean it made approximately $28.4 million on Disney+.
So, summed together, the five opening weekends made $175.41 million on Premier Access and $294.9 million in theaters. Keep in mind, these figures are only for opening weekends (which account for the majority of purchases on Disney+), but are likely higher including post-opening purchases. Plus, there was a global pandemic going on during these releases. This affected theaters and home viewership greatly, possibly skewing where some of the numbers would have landed.
That means that Disney has possibly made almost or around $200 million from Disney+ Premier Access. Again, keep in mind these are estimated figures from credible sources, but they’re still just an estimate. We’ve done whole posts on why video on demand can be both a good or bad thing, as well as also covering what this sort of release can mean for a distribution company without half the profits going back to the movie theaters. Still, wow! Those are some impressive figures!
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