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Data: PwC and Digital TV Research; Chart: Axios Visuals

The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated a trend of studios pushing more movies to be made available for a premium rental price via a ticketed on-demand deal.

What they're saying: "With film fans spending more time at home, we have seen steady growth on both our FandangoNOW and Vudu platforms,” says Fandango Home Entertainment Vice President Cameron Douglas.

Why it matters: It's a blow to movie exhibitors across the country that were relying on big hits to come exclusively to theaters before being made available to consumers at home.

Driving the news: Disney announced on Tuesday that its most highly-anticipated blockbuster of the year, the live-action remake of "Mulan," is heading to Disney+ on Sept. 4 for consumers to purchase for a premium access fee of $29.99.

  • The movie's theatrical debut had previously been delayed four times.

Between the lines: This is Disney's first time experimenting with offering a movie via a premium access price on its streaming service.

  • Disney executives say this could create a new revenue stream in the form of ticketed videos on-demand (TVOD) — similar to Fandango or Moviefone.

Be smart: Analysts were expecting Disney to rake in $1 billion off the "Mulan" global theatrical debut.

  • It's unlikely Disney will hit that number by pushing the movie to premium on-demand streaming, but the company likely sees the potential for "Mulan" to help bring in Disney+ subscribers as a worthwhile tradeoff.

The big picture: Disney's move into premium on-demand streaming follows similar efforts by rival movie studio Universal, which is owned by Comcast.

  • Universal was the first studio to skip the theatrical window altogether during the pandemic, when it made "Trolls World Tour" and other titles available on-demand for 48-hour rental for $19.99 at the same time as the film debuted in theaters in April.

By the numbers: Data from market research company Parks Associates finds that in Q1 2020, 14% of US broadband households had used a TVOD service over the past 30 days, a five-point increase from the previous year.

  • It predicts consumer usage of TVOD services will increase significantly in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
Nov 17, 2020 - Technology

Americans are spending more on entertainment during pandemic

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Nearly three quarters of adults say they are spending more on entertainment each month, according to a new survey conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of Dolby.

Why it matters: American consumers are spending more on entertainment content as they try to binge-watch their way through the pandemic, which coincided with a flood of new streaming service options, including HBO Max, Peacock and Disney+. While consolidation is still expected, for now a rising tide is helping keep most boats afloat. (The S.S. Quibi has already sunk.)

U.S. border cities again see low violent crime rates

Expand chart
Data: FBI, Kansas Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Census Bureau; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

Reported violent crime in the United States rose in 2020 for the first time in four years, but violent crime rates in 11 of the largest communities along the U.S.-Mexico border stayed below the national average, an Axios analysis found. 

Why it matters: Year after year, data showing low violent crime rates in majority-Mexican American and Mexican immigrant border communities dispels myths of the U.S.-Mexico border as a region filled with crime and chaos.

Biden says presidency "will be determined" by outcome of spending plans

President Biden walks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after addressing the House Democratic caucus on Thursday. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden told the House Democratic caucus Thursday "my presidency will be determined" by the votes he wants in the next week on his $1.75 trillion social safety net expansion and $1.2 trillion infrastructure package.

Driving the news: Biden made the comment, according to a source in the room, as he tried to rally support for the $1.75 trillion package. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi acted immediately, calling for a vote on the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill later in the day.