Columnist NICK OVERALL reports that while Disney is rocking the boat, Netflix reigns supreme in the emerging world of streaming.
THERE’S never a shortage of controversies in the ever more rapidly emerging medium that is streaming.
August has had quite the slew of news as competing platforms turn up the heat in their bid for the throne of what I believe will be the main and most widely spread way the world consumes entertainment.
Disney is back in the headlines for a choice regarding a new film that has its fan-base more than a little up in arms.
We’ve seen many of the biggest movies this year delaying their cinematic releases as studios have been eager to ensure they can get as many butts on seats as possible to get a return on their blockbuster investments.
One of the most anticipated – and most delayed – has been Disney’s “Mulan”, a remake of its animated classic from 1998 about a young woman who poses as a male warrior to fight in Ancient China.
This is another entry into the company’s conversion of its animated classics to live action, which although met with a bit of backlash, has also been wildly successful.
“The Jungle Book”, “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Lion King” are just a few that have received the treatment, and each were among some of the highest box-office performers of their respective years. You can bet as a result that the house of mouse isn’t slowing down that cash train.
Here’s the thing though – all those movies didn’t release during a global pandemic. Having finally caved and wanting no more delays to “Mulan”, Disney has decided to bring it to its streaming platform, Disney+, in September. The twist is that it’s gonna come with a $30 price tag. That’s on top of the near $10 monthly fee subscribers already dish out.
As you can imagine, it didn’t go down well.
Cinema owners, too, are devastated about the decision. They were hoping that “Mulan”, along with “Dark Knight” director Chris Nolan’s new film, “Tenet”, would be able to get the movie audiences back out to the good old pictures.
Netflix has once again topped the pops with season two of “The Umbrella Academy”, smashing viewing records and becoming the most in demand show this month. According to the streaming search engine Just Watch, Netflix continues to be making all the right moves, with the platform being the market leader across 61 of 66 countries.
It’s also taken a page out of Disney’s book after the major success of the streamed version of the Broadway show, “Hamilton”. Seeing the potential of stage productions, Netflix is set to adapt a musical based on the life of Princess Diana, called, aptly I s’pose, “Diana”. The twist here? The filmed version will be out before the actual Broadway show.
These pieces of controversy are showing just how influential streaming is becoming. It’s not just television shows anymore, we’re seeing the beginning of entirely new business models and means of taking in popular culture.
Netflix better watch out though, because there’s a new sheriff in town. Comedian and actor Ryan Reynolds, who you might know of “Deadpool” fame, released what he calls “the world’s most affordable streaming service ‘Mint Mobile +’”.
It only plays one movie. Yep, you read correctly – just one.
Log into “Mint Mobile +” and you’ll be greeted with what many have described as the intensely mediocre, “Foolproof” from 2003, of course starring Reynolds.
You’ll see it dressed up in all sorts of tabs and selections: “Original Originals”, “Kind of Originals,” “Unoriginal Originals”. Even hilariously, a trending top 10 section.
The platform is, of course, an elaborate joke by Reynolds, taking a swipe at the current state of streaming and particularly Disney+, but the awareness here of the market and its resonance with the internet community goes to show that people are certainly switching on to the “foolproof” tricks and trades of these streaming giants.