Entertainment

Disney's 'Mulan' delays March release as coronavirus restrictions on public gatherings increase

Share
Key Points
  • Disney has postponed the theatrical releases of "Mulan," "New Mutants" and "Antlers."
  • As more cases of the coronavirus crop up around the world, and more states and local governments begin to ban large gatherings, Hollywood studios have begun to push films' release dates.
  • Already "F9," "A Quiet Place Part II," "Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway" and "No Time to Die" have all rescheduled their release dates.
Liu Yifei stars as Hua Mulan in Disney's "Mulan."
Disney

After weeks of debate in the media, Disney has decided to delay the release of "Mulan" amid growing concerns around the coronavirus pandemic.

The movie was set to hit theaters on March 27. The studio has not yet announced a new release date for the hotly anticipated live-action remake.

"New Mutants" and "Antlers" were also pushed from their release dates.

"New Mutants" is a Marvel film that was acquired from Disney when it bought 21st Century Fox last year. The film centers around a group of young mutants that learn they have been trapped in a secret hospital-like facility and must fight together to escape.

"Antlers" is a science fiction horror film from Searchlight Pictures about a mysterious creature that escapes and wreaks havoc in a small Oregon town.

As more cases of the coronavirus crop up around the world, and more states and local governments begin to ban large gatherings, Hollywood studios have begun to push films' release dates.

Already "F9," "A Quiet Place Part II," "Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway" and "No Time to Die" have all rescheduled their release dates.

AMC Entertainment shares closed down 20% Thursday as more movies saw debuts delayed. The stock, which has a market value of $303 million, has fallen nearly 60% since the start of this year. Cinemark shares tumbled 25%, pushing its market cap to $1.7 billion. Shares have lost nearly 57% year-to-date.

"Mulan" is expected to be a huge global success for Disney, but especially so in North America and in China. Chinese theaters closed last month and have yet to reopen and there are fears that American cinemagoers will stay home, especially as more restrictions are put in place by local governments.

France, Italy, South Korea, and other foreign regions have also seen theaters shutter or reduce the number of people who are allowed to see films at one time.

While Disney's live-action remakes have been well-received in North America, they have been incredibly financially successful outside the U.S.

Previous films in this genre have garnered between 60% and 69% of their total box office outside of North America, according to data from Comscore.

And "Mulan" could have an even higher percentage. Chinese moviegoers love movies that are set in China. 

Films like 2014's "Transformers: Age of Extinction" and 2016's movie "The Great Wall," American movies that were set in Asian cities, were more popular at the box office in China than in the U.S. during their theatrical runs.