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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.)

Federal court blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for health workers in 10 states

President Biden delivers remarks on the Omicron COVID-19 variant following a meeting with his COVID-19 response team. Photo: Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images

A federal court in Missouri has blocked the Biden administration from enforcing a coronavirus vaccine mandate for health care workers at federally funded facilities in 10 states.

Why it matters: Monday's decision is the first victory for opponents of the rule, which requires health care workers to get vaccinated by Jan. 4, 2022. The case is one of four lawsuits challenging the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) rule and argues that the mandate will exacerbate staffing shortages.

Twitter's next act

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey is exiting the company he helped build at a time when its future has never been so uncertain.

Why it matters: The person who controls Twitter controls the de facto public square — with implications for politics, media and free speech.