Disney‘s Mulan remake doesn’t have the brightest future overseas right now. Disney recently decided to postpone the release date of the film in China after the closure of nearly 70,000 theaters due to coronavirus.
Mulan will still release in the United States on its scheduled date of March 27.
Mulan is the first of the Disney remakes with a PG-13 rating, and the story and cast were particularly chosen to cater to a Chinese audience with more historical accuracy and an all-Asian cast.
By postponing the theatrical release of the film in the specific market it’s supposed to cater to, Disney is taking a massive financial hit in the short-term.
Disney generated $11.1 billion from its theatrical releases in 2019. Granted, the highest grossing flick of all time in Avengers: Endgame and the final film in the Star Wars sequel trilogy The Rise Of Skywalker released that year.
But still, theatrical releases make up a massive chunk of Disney’s revenue. Mulan reportedly cost over $200 million to make. With the viewership of the world’s second largest economy hanging in the balance, Disney could take quite a hit with Mulan.
Just to quantify how large of an impact China and the rest of the world have on a movie’s success, we’ll look at Disney’s Aladdin remake in 2019.
The film made just $54 million in the U.S. compared to its production budget of $183 million, but generated $1.1 billion worldwide.
“China can represent a huge percentage of a film’s international and global box office revenue, so this is going to have an impact on any movie that was slated,” Comscore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian tells Yahoo Finance.
“The upside is that China will release all of these movies down the road, but right now the whole release slate is in flux and there are no hard dates that they can put on these films,” he continued.
China has stated that they have no intention to open the theaters back up until at least April.
The star of Disney’s most recent remake Liu Yifei is originally from Wuhan, China, which is the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. She recently commented on the situation.
“It’s really heavy for me to even think about it,” Yifei tells The Hollywood Reporter. “People are doing the right thing. They are being careful for themselves and others. I’m so touched actually to see how they haven’t been out for weeks. I’m really hoping for a miracle and that this will just be over soon.”
But, in regards to Mulan‘s future Chinese release date, Disney president of production Sean Bailey says he’s “looking at it day by day.”
According to Deadline, the closures could amount to a global box office loss of nearly $4 billion, just by the end of March.
As stated, Mulan will still be releasing in the United States on its scheduled date of March 27. Watch the trailer below.