June 25, 2020
With spikes in coronavirus infections springing up around the country, the July 24 debut of Walt Disney Studios’ live-action Mulan reportedly could be pushed back again. Disney has not made any official announcement.
With Florida, Texas, Oklahoma and South Carolina setting daily COVID-19 infection records, more than 36,000 new cases were reported June 24 nationwide.
“The exhibition business will not be at full strength for many months,” David Gross with Franchise Entertainment Research told The Wall Street Journal, which cited studio sources about a possible new Mulan release date.
The release of Mulan has been considered a bellwether among exhibitors regarding moviegoer interest returning to theaters.
The movie, originally slated for March 9 release, had been rescheduled for July 24 — a week after the proposed July 17 launch of Warner Bros.’ international espionage thriller Tenet from director Christopher Nolan. Tenet has now been pushed back to July 31, making Mulan a standalone litmus test regarding a return to the box office normalcy.
An unenviable position for any major studio tentpole release, especially when the entire domestic exhibition business — led by AMC Theatres, Regal Cinemas and Cinemark — has circled the movie for its grand re-opening.
The 1998 animated Mulan generated more than $300 million at the global box office.
Indeed, Disney has pushed back many of its major theatrical releases to next year and beyond, with some smaller titles going direct to SVOD platform Disney+.
Eternals is now set for Feb. 12, 2021; Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is set for May 7, 2021; Thor: Love and Thunder will arrive on Feb. 18, 2022; Black Panther 2 will be released on May 6, 2022, and Captain Marvel 2 follows thereafter on July 8, 2022.