This Thursday The Walt Disney Company will make their annual presentation to their investors at their “Investor Day 2020.” While Disney tends to make its splashiest and more exciting announcements regarding theme parks, major film franchises, and their most popular properties at their D23 Expo.
These investor presentations are aimed more for… well, investors, and less toward the casual fan. However, we know that there are big projects that need to be announced soon and this Thursday may provide the perfect opportunity.
Here are the first three, out of nine, questions we hope to get answered on Thursday:
- Will Disney merge Hulu into Disney+, leaving Disney+ to be the sole non-sports streaming service offered by Disney?
This rumor has started growing some legs over the past few weeks as people have noticed a number of Hulu executives being let go.
The presentation will focus much of its attention on their international rollout of Hotstar, which will be released alongside Disney+ as a (for lack of a better term) “foreign language Hulu.” So would Disney actually announce Disney+ is absorbing Hulu in the United States at the same event they are announcing the launch of Hulu’s international sibling Hotstar.
This will be interesting and if they do announce Hulu merging with Disney+, the streaming wars will be jumping into hyperdrive.
- What films intended for a 2021 theatrical release get moved to a Disney+ release?
After WB’s major announcement that they will be dropping their entire 2021 film releases to HBO max on the same day as they are released in theaters, all eyes have been on Disney to see if they follow the same practice.
While Warner Bros has some popular movies lined up, no one can compare to Disney when it comes to box office dominance. So, while the theater chains were hurt by Warner Bros announcement, they weren’t decimated, however, a similar move by Disney could be the death blow to an entire industry.
In practically every article talking about the Warner Bros move, there is always someone quoted saying “the real question is, what will Disney do? That will determine everyone’s future.” We will likely find this out on Thursday.
- Will we get details on how Disney’s experiment went with Mulan as a PVOD release?
Back in September Disney released Mulan on Disney+ with a hefty price tag of nearly $30. Many suffered sticker shock while others pointed out that a family of four could watch the movie for $30 (plus D+ subscription) versus the $50-$80 price range for that same family at a movie theater. Plus, you got continued access to the film after watching it (as long as you maintained your Disney+ subscription).
There are a lot of guesses as to how this experiment went. On one hand, Disney’s CFO Christine McCarthy noted that the film made it’s money back and executives were really happy with the performance. On the other hand, it is noteworthy that they have not used the tactic since.
To be fair, Mulan may not have been the best test subject to determine if PVOD is a viable plan moving forward, while the film received strong reviews it suffered immensely from numerous controversies surrounding the film’s connections to unsavory and unpopular aspects of China’s government.
During November’s Q4 financial report Disney gave a vague answer to how the movie did, but they said they would have more information to share at this Thursday’s investor day.
Check back tomorrow for the next three questions as we lead up to the big day.
Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter at @SeanNyberg as I live tweet the entire event. Follow @TheDisinsider to get full stories as they happen and listen to The Disney Beat Podcast Thursday evening for a full wrap up of the day’s events.