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Disney Decides to Delay Mulan Pretty Much Ending Any Hope for Summer Blockbusters

Yifei Liu as Mulan holding her ftaher's sword

Summer blockbusters have been a huge box office event for Hollywood since Jaws was released in 1975. However, despite movie theaters wanting very badly to reopen, another big film is pushing its release date back: Disney’s Mulan.

The Verge has reported that Disney has delayed Mulan for the second time this year, pushing the film’s release date from July 24th to August 21st. This decision follows Warner Bros.’s own to delay Christopher Nolan’s Tenet until August 12th, which was posed to be Disney’s biggest rival during that time frame. That pretty much ends the potential for true summer blockbusters this year.

A statement on this was shared on Variety from Disney’s co-chairman and chief creative officer Alan Horn and co-chairman Alan Bergman:

“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. 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 first studio to release a major film in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic will be a litmus test for the market. But who wants to risk a movie that they hoped would make multi-million dollars on an unsure market? Even if movie theaters do open in July, as many are planning, due to restrictions audiences might not show up if they have to wear a mask during the whole experience. Plus, they will have to sell seats at half the capacity to ensure people can socially distance comfortably.

It’s going to be an adjustment and a necessary one, but considering that Nolan’s last film, Dunkirk, made $526.9 million and the Disney remakes have been a serious moneymaker for the company, some bringing in billions of dollars at the box office—capitalism doesn’t want to play Russian Roulette with that.

As someone who misses going to the movies and would certainly be tempted by a few films (hello Candyman), the reality is that going back to the movie theaters is going to require a lot of regulations. I’m not sure that I’m prepared to deal with people who want to stir up trouble because they believe everything is “over.” I can already see people not wearing masks properly, or taking them off when the theater gets dark.

Wearing masks has turned into a political issue because of people feeling emasculated, or because they think it’s keeping them from breathing the way God wants them to or whatever anti-scientific nonsense that is being passed along. The biggest thing keeping me from going to the movies is not trusting that fellow moviegoers are going to make the experience a pleasant one. We shall see what happens in July.

Until then, I’ll just keep watching The Sopranos. 

(via The Verge, image: Disney)

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Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.