'Mulan' Release Date Pushed Back to August 2020


Disney's live-action remake of their hit film Mulan was initially scheduled to be released on March 27th, 2020. It is the latest addition to their series of live-action remakes of some of their other previous films. Hopes were high when the trailers dropped, as it appeared that a lot of effort had been put into the film, not only to make Mulan a better character, but also to correctly and respectfully portray Chinese culture of the time period. Reports stated that Shang the love interest and Mushu the wacky sidekick would not be in the film, showcasing that this might be one of the most serious films Disney has ever done, especially considering their history as an entertainment company for families under the main Disney brand. However, by the time March rolled around, most movie theaters around the world had closed down as a result of the Coronavirus.

Starting in March, the month of the film's release, most of the major movie theater chains around the world had shut down, including Regal Entertainment and AMC. Most crushing of all, the Chinese movie theaters had also shut down by this point, with the Chinese film industry having lost $2 billion by that time. With both the highly lucrative American and Chinese markets closed down (to say nothing of the other theaters that had shut down worldwide), Disney pushed the release date of Mulan back to July of 2020.

When places began reopening around the world in May/June, it looked like the secondary release date would be a success, and the world would finally see the work that Disney had done in hopes of making Mulan a high-quality, smash hit film. However, upon reopening, the world began seeing another spike in COVID cases. At best the theaters would reopen with limited capacity, though theaters have not yet reopened at all. Disney spent over $200 million to make Mulan, which doesn't even account for aspects such as marketing. As such, they could not afford a loss on that level. Aladdin and The Lion King (both released in 2019) made over $1 billion at the box office, with 2016's The Jungle Book making only slightly below that. So the stakes of releasing Mulan under the best possible circumstances have been extremely high. There has been talk of movie theaters opening up at half or quarter capacity, which would cut the ticket sales accordingly, with sales possibly decreasing more with the release of the latest Christopher Nolan film Tenet. The effects of this have already been seen by Disney. Their latest joint outing with Pixar, Onward, lost almost $70 million at the box office as the result of COVID. So Disney already has first-hand knowledge of what happens when a film is released during the worries of COVID.

As a result of all of these factors, Disney pushed the release date of Mulan back once again to August 21, 2020. This is naturally a tentative release date. Now that the cases of COVID have begun to increase, it is quite possible, some might say likely, that Disney will push the release date back once again. They have poured too much money into it to simply throw it onto Disney+, and the format that Dreamworks' Trolls World Tour film was released under is too much of a gamble for Disney to release it that way. While Trolls World Tour was a highly viewed film, its box office was nowhere near its budget.

With the uncertainty of the pandemic and the closure of movie theaters, Disney is under the pressure to release their next hit film at the perfect time. As the pandemic goes on and on, Disney may have to do as much damage control as possible and release the film when and where it can so that it can recoup at least some of its losses. The August release date is certainly tentative, and there are questions of how much of the $200 million-plus the film can make back even if it does release then. With everything going on, it is going to be difficult to finally sit in the theater and watch a movie about a female warrior saving China.




Source: ScreenRant

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