Coronavirus Outbreak: After Tenet, Disney's Mulan stands postponed; film will now release on 21 August

US movie theatres planned their widespread reopening around the release of Tenet and Mulan, but with the surge of coronavirus cases in parts of the country, those films have been pushed ahead.

FP Staff June 27, 2020 13:01:43 IST
Coronavirus Outbreak: After Tenet, Disney's Mulan stands postponed; film will now release on 21 August

Hollywood’s hopes for salvaging its summer season have effectively ended after the releases of both Christopher Nolan’s Tenet and the Walt Disney Co’s live-action reboot of Mulan were again delayed.

With reported cases of the coronavirus surging in parts of the US, Disney on Friday followed Warner Bros in pushing Mulan to late August.

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The film, initially planned to open in March, had been slated for 24 July. It’s now moving to 21 August.

“While the pandemic has changed our release plans for Mulan and we will continue to be flexible as conditions require, it has not changed our belief in the power of this film and its message of hope and perseverance,” said Disney co-chairmen Alan Horn and Alan Bergman in a joint statement.

"Director Niki Caro and our cast and crew have created a beautiful, epic, and moving film that is everything the cinematic experience should be, and that's where we believe it belongs — on the world stage and the big screen for audiences around the globe to enjoy together," the statement further said.

Coronavirus Outbreak After Tenet Disneys Mulan stands postponed film will now release on 21 August

A still from Mulan teaser. YouTube screengrab

On Thursday, Warner Bros also postponed Tenet, starring John David Washington and Robert Pattinson, from 31 July to 12 August. The studio stressed the need for flexibility.

“We are choosing to open the movie mid-week to allow audiences to discover the film in their own time, and we plan to play longer, over an extended play period far beyond the norm, to develop a very different yet successful release strategy,” a Warner Bros spokesperson said in a statement.

Movie theatre chains had planned the widespread reopening of cinemas partially around the return of new releases like Tenet and Disney’s Mulan. AMC Theaters, Regal Cinemas, and Cinemark — the three largest circuits in North America — had all set a timetable for nationwide reopening in early to mid-July with the aim of first playing catalog movies (including Nolan’s own Inception) and a smattering of smaller films as a lead-in to summer tentpoles.

But with COVID-19 cases surging in Texas, Arizona, Florida, and elsewhere, those plans became uncertain. Rising cases in California forced Disney earlier this week to delay next month’s planned reopening of Disneyland in Anaheim. On Wednesday, New York Governer Andrew Cuomo also said New York would delay reopening cinemas while it continued to research the safety of indoor, air-conditioned venues.

Roughly 780 indoor theatres currently are open in the United States, according to research firm Comscore.

United Artists Releasing’s Bill & Ted Face the Music also pushed back from 14 to 28 August.

Mulan is a $200-million live-action remake of Disney’s animated classic that stars Yifei Liu in the title role and follows the protagonist as she disguises herself as a male soldier in the imperial army.

(With inputs from agencies)

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