New 'Mulan' viewership data from Nielsen sheds light on how the movie performed after it debuted on Disney Plus

  • "Mulan" cracked Nielsen's latest list of top 10 streaming titles with 525 minutes watched during its debut weekend on Disney Plus.
  • It's the only movie on the list, released Thursday, and the only non-Netflix title aside from Amazon's "The Boys."
  • If "Mulan" falls out of the top 10 in future Nielsen lists, it would suggest that it didn't sustain strong viewership after its first weekend.
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Disney has yet to release any viewership numbers for its live-action "Mulan" remake, which debuted on Disney Plus on September 4. But new Nielsen data provides a snapshot of how the movie performed on the streaming service. 

"Mulan" cracked Nielsen's most recent weekly list of top streaming titles with 525 minutes watched (the list measured minutes watched for the week of August 31 to September 6). It was the only movie on the list and only non-Netflix title other than Amazon Prime Video's "The Boys."

The movie was originally set for theatrical release in March but was pushed back several times because of the pandemic. In August, Disney announced that it would debut the movie on Disney Plus for subscribers at an additional $30 fee and release it to theaters in regions where Disney Plus is not available. 

Questions have lingered about whether the movie, which cost $200 million to produce, was a success or not. Disney announced last week that it would delay the Marvel movie "Black Widow" to May 2021, suggesting that the "Mulan" experiment wasn't a raging success.

But third-party data has done its best to paint a rough picture of the movie's performance. Notably, Samba TV said last month that "Mulan" was watched by 1.12 million US households on connected TV decides over the four-day Labor Day weekend (the metrics are different from Nielsen's, which measured minutes watched). The company estimated that "Mulan" earned $33.5 million over that weekend.

Future Nielsen lists will account for the weeks following "Mulan's" debut on Disney Plus. If "Mulan" falls out of the top 10, it would suggest that it didn't sustain strong viewership after its first weekend.

At the box office, the movie has grossed $64.4 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo. It disappointed in China, where it was expected to be a major hit before the coronavirus pandemic began. It flopped over its debut weekend in the region, making just $23 million even with most theaters back open.

"Mulan" has been shrouded in controversy since it premiered on Disney Plus. Calls to boycott the movie erupted because the end credits thanked government entities in China's Xinjiang region that had been implicated in human-rights violations against Muslim Uighurs. Parts of the movie were filmed in the region.

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