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Disney delays Mulan and New Mutants over coronavirus fears

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Mulan was Disney’s first big live-action movie of the year

Image: Disney

Disney is delaying Mulan’s release due to the coronavirus pandemic spreading across the world, according to Variety. There is no new release date at this time. The movie was originally scheduled to open on March 27th.

Disney is also delaying New Mutants, Fox’s newest entry in the X-Men franchise, that was set to be released on April 3rd. New Mutants has already been delayed multiple times for an assortment of reasons. There is no expected release date for it at this time, either. The third movie Disney is postponing is Antlers, another movie from Searchlight Pictures that Disney picked up following its acquisition of 21st Century Fox.

Mulan, New Mutants and Antlers are the latest films to be delayed because of the pandemic. A Quiet Place II, No Time To Die, and Peter Rabbit 2 were all delayed over the last couple of weeks. Other studios, like Magnolia, have canceled the theatrical release of certain titles, turning them into streaming and rental-only options.

Mulan is one of Disney’s biggest movies of the year. It follows Pixar’s Onward, which debuted to less than stellar box-office numbers. Mulan was particularly important for Disney internationally — especially in hot regions like China. Disney hadn’t announced a release date for Mulan in China, but considering the outbreak of coronavirus is most prevalent in China right now, it seems unlikely the movie will get a release date there anytime soon.

Coronavirus started spreading in Wuhan, China back in December 2019. Since then, the coronavirus has spread to just about every country. More than 130,000 cases have been confirmed, and more than 4,200 people have died.

Questions about how the coronavirus will affect Disney’s overall business are on executives’ minds. Executive chairman Bob Iger told shareholders at the company’s annual shareholder meeting on March 11th that “it’s fair to say we’re all sobered by the concern that we feel for everyone affected by this global crisis,” adding that “these are challenging times for everyone.” The company decided to close its Disneyland park in Anaheim for the rest of March.

“What we’ve demonstrated over the years is that we’re incredibly resilient,” Iger told shareholders. “If you think about the world today, what we create has never been more necessary or more important.”

Disney’s next big movie is Black Widow — the first installment in Marvel’s Phase 4. It’s unclear if Black Widow, which is set to be released on May 1st, will hit that date.