EXCLUSIVE: If exhibition couldn’t be further beaten down more today, Disney has just moved Mulan (March 27), 20th Century Studios/Marvel’s The New Mutants (April 3) and Searchlight’s horror pic Antlers (April 17) off the release schedule. Disney says that it’s looking at potential 2020 dates in regards to where the titles would be scheduled next.
Tracking was forecasting Mulan for a $80M-$90M opening.
This is a global re-dating scenario from what we hear, and likely the best financial choice for Disney especially with the China market completely offline. Opening Mulan sans China would never had made much sense, especially the pic’s patriotic local star Liu Yifei.
And it’s not just China’s theaters that are closed, but Denmark, Norway and Greece today joined Italy, Poland, states in India, Lebanon and Kuwait as well. Deadline’s Andreas Wiseman also reported that cinemas in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev and the Hungarian capital Budapest are bound to shutter along with Sweden, Finland and Belgium to follow. In addition to U.S./Canada, UK, France, Germany, Spain, Mexico, Australia and Brazil cinemas remain open.
Like Paramount’s A Quiet Place Part II, which sources estimate had already spent 60% of its global P&A freight, much has been expended here on Mulan. Heck, the world premiere was held on Monday in Hollywood.
Following MGM’s pushing 007 title No Time to Die from April 10 to November 25, a greater domino effect of release date changes has taken place, teeing off today with Paramount pushing A Quiet Place Part II (originally March 20), The Lovebirds (April 3) and limited release Blue Story to unset dates, followed by Universal catapulting F9 one year forward to April 2, 2021 from its Memorial Day weekend release date.
It’s truly a shocker to domestic exhibition and rivals that Paramount moved A Quiet Place Part II and Disney shifted Mulan at such a last minute. No one ever thought with the P&A expended that rescheduling was an option for either movie. But with the public apt to scale back greatly over health concerns, and enormous budgets of these movies, the greater potential loss for both of these studios stemmed from remaining on course.
Poor, New Mutants, which has been kicked down the road like a can both by previous owner Fox and now Disney. The film was plagued with production problems, with rumors before the merger last year that it would go straight to Hulu. The plan under new owner Disney, I heard, was to keep the pic a theatrical release since it’s a spinoff of X-Men. This is the first release date change for New Mutants after April 13, 2018; Feb. 22, 2019; Aug. 2, 2019; and what was April 3 this year.