Broom Kid said:
While that may be true for now, it can change easily.
If they’re moving forward with discontinuing the release of catalog titles (or possibly licensing those titles to boutique labels) they obviously don’t believe there’s much money here. Disney could “cash in” now if they want, and they don’t. They sent the Skywalker Saga set out to die, basically, and they hardly promote any of the new releases they do have. Physical media is dying and it seems like Disney has decided to (pun intended) let it go. It seems very, very much like they’re going to address the “do you want to own something from our catalog” situation by pointing people to Disney+. That’s the “cash-in” they’re pursuing.
If Mulan clears a profit (and it might be able to considering Disney doesn’t have to share any of that revenue with anyone, so the amount of money it needs to gross is much smaller) it seems like Disney+ is going to be how they move forward for everything. The physical media audience is niche enough that they don’t need to cater to it anymore, so they won’t. They’ll maybe accept money from some boutique label to press up limited edition blu-rays, but I wouldn’t be surprised if those licenses aren’t cheap and so whatever hopes of a Criterion-esque (or even Criterion) release of Disney/Fox classics will be limited. That’s if Disney decides to let those titles be licensed.
Piracy really isn’t that much of a concern to the bottom line, and hasn’t been for long while. It’s been more of a boogeyman than an actual threat to business, especially not to any business the size of Disney. Pirated copies of Hamilton and Black is King aren’t even denting Disney’s subscription numbers, for example.
I think if there are hopes for a future Star Wars release that maybe someday possibly involves an official release of the theatrical versions, that release is going to be on Disney+. It’ll be a bonus feature they add one day. This announcement seems to be pointing that way.
Well, well… Disney is again releasing their catalog titles. I don’t want to say I told you so, but I did.