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Free movie said to be wildly more popular than one stuck behind monthly subscription and a secondary $30 fee

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm and the live-action remake of Mulan
(Image credit: Amazon Studios/Disney)

Mulan just can't catch a break. First the global pandemic knocks it out of theaters, and now it is (for some odd reason) being compared to Borat Subsequent Moviefilm in a strange popularity contest.

Variety, citing Samba TV, reports that some 1.6 million households were estimated to have watched Borat from Oct. 22 to Oct. 25, its opening weekend online. It compares that to Mulan, which garnered some 1.12 million households over the Labor Day weekend.

That's a bad comparison, though, for any number of reasons. The most important is that the Borat sequel — which stars Sascha Baron Cohen in the title role doing his thing to trick unsuspecting folks into unwittingly showing off the heart of America — was available free on Amazon Prime Video for those who are members of Amazon Prime, which basically comes free with a birth certificate at this point.

Mulan, meanwhile, was the first (and so far only) release on Disney+ Premiere Access, which first requires a $6.99-a-month subscription to the Disney+ streaming service, and then required an extra $30 "Premiere Access" fee to watch the movie. So not only is there a big barrier to entry in the form of an initial subscription, but now there's another monetary barrier on top of that. Want one more? You can now buy the Mulan remake on your favorite streaming service not named Disney+ for that same $30 price. Need another? It'll be available on Disney+ without that $30 in December.

That comparison is akin to giving the former mayor of New York City an opportunity to explain his part in the Borat sequel without having an adequate PR flak on standby — a bad idea.