‘Mulan’ Moves Release Date To August 21 With NY, LA & China Theaters Still Not Open


It’s official — at least for the time being: Disney said Friday it is moving Niki Caro’s Mulan release date from July 25 to August 21, the weekend after Tenet‘s five-day opening from August 12-16.

We were hearing noise about this earlier this week, as we told you, with COVID-19 cases surging nationwide and theaters reopening in New York, Los Angeles and China up in the air. Even though California has provided guidelines for cinemas to reopen, Los Angeles County hasn’t given the go-ahead yet.

The good news here for exhibition is that Disney has a plan to open Mulan in the near future, close to Tenet and not during the holidays or 2021 (or even on Disney+, for that matter). Mulan‘s moola will be greatly appreciated.

“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 Alan Horn, co-chairman and chief creative officer, and Alan Bergman, co-chairman, The Walt Disney Studios. “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.”

What happens now is we’ll likely see the cinemas, such as AMC, shift their reopening schedule. What was July 10 for the No. 1 circuit’s reopening will likely become July 31, with tiered reopenings occurring August 7 and August 12. I hear Cinemark is reopening 75 theaters next weekend and will rely, natch, on catalog product; that’s from a source, not one of the chain’s insiders. For the most part, the majority of the nation’s exhibitors will be near a 4 1/2-month shutdown come July 31 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We’ll hammer out a revised summer (what is now turning into fall) release schedule after we see where Solstice Studios puts Unhinged, Sony puts Broken Hearts Gallery, and where STX places Greenland. MGM just moved Bill & Ted Face the Music from August 14 to August 28 after Tenet plopped on its release date.

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