While Disney’s live-action remake of Mulan is still expected to receive a theatrical release in July, a financial analyst predicts the film may move for digital release instead as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues.
Wall Street analyst Michael Nathanson noted that to properly release and promote the film ahead of its opening, Disney would have to take a significant number of personnel working in distribution and marketing off of furloughed salaries. With the entertainment conglomerate struggling from the global health crisis’ impact on movie theater and theme park admissions, this may prove too costly a move, especially as audiences may not turn out in high numbers due to ongoing public health concerns.
With audiences turning to Disney’s digital streaming platforms, including Hulu and Disney+, Nathanson believes moving Mulan to digital distribution through these premium streaming services would help give both platforms added visibility and potential subscribers as the company continues to recoup its losses. Disney previously changed its release strategy for the animated film Onward, released theatrically just as the pandemic broke out, leading to an early home video release.
Movie theaters in east Asia and western Europe have gradually started reopening, while domestic movie theaters are hoping to open by the start of July for Warner Bros.’ Tenet, slated for release on July 17.
Directed by Niki Caro, Disney’s Mulan stars Yifei Liu as Mulan, Donnie Yen as Commander Tung, Jason Scott Lee as Böri Khan, and Yoson An as Cheng Honghui, with Gong Li as Xianniang and Jet Li as the Emperor. The film arrives in theaters July 24.
A financial analyst predicted Disney's live-action remake of Mulan may move to streaming instead of receiving a proper theatrical release.