The Walt Disney Co officially postponed the theatrical release of ‘Mulan’, while Universal Pictures moved back the release of the ninth Fast and Furious film by a year amid the coronavirus outbreak. ``Mulan’’ was set to come out at the end of the month and ‘F9’ had been scheduled for the end of May.
Disney also said Thursday that it is postponing the releases of ‘The New Mutants’ and ‘Antlers’ as well, citing an “abundance of caution”. The studio will announce new dates for a 2020 release later.
Earlier on Thursday, Universal Pictures decided that the Fast and Furious sequel ‘F9’ will now open next year, on April 2, 2021.
The Fast and Furious movies are always big earners at the domestic and international box office and the absence of ‘F9’ will impact the 2020 box office in a major way. The past two films have made over $1 billion.
‘F9’ is the first major summer movie to be delayed because of the outbreak. Other major movies that are still slated for release in the critical summer months include Warner Bros.’ ‘Wonder Woman 1984’, on June 5, Paramount’s ‘Top Gun: Maverick’, on June 24, and Disney’s ‘Jungle Cruise’,’on July 24.
Thursday also saw the postponement of Paramount’s ‘A Quiet Place Part II’, in addition to ‘The Lovebirds’. The delays came after concerns about the virus and public safety prompted studios to postpone the releases of the James Bond film ‘No Time to Die’ and ‘Peter Rabbit 2’.
The Walt Disney Co. has not yet announced any changes to its plans to release Marvel’s ‘Black Widow’ on April 24.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.