Coronavirus is not only affecting the health of masses across the world, but also various industries at large.
After the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the virus as a state of global emergency, Disney’s theme park business in China has already hit a low and now its box-office industry is also going to be hampered.
Disney is releasing the live-action remake of its 1998 animated classic, Mulan about a Chinese warrior woman in North America on 27 March. With a budget of $200 million, Mulan was expected to have a good opening and great run in the world’s second-biggest movie market after the United States. But now it has been threatened by the public health crisis.
The release date of Mulan in China is not revealed yet, as the dates in China are decided by the Government instead of the studios, so the dates are often confirmed just weeks before a film is set to open. Disney CEO Bob Iger told CNBC earlier this month, “At this point, we’re not sure when [Mulan will release in China].”
It’s not a very good sign for Disney, as a senior analyst Jeff Bock said, Mulan is “tailor-made for success in China. Mulan has significant roots in Chinese lore and China is a major part of Disney’s global release strategy, and could easily be Mulan’s biggest market by a fair margin. Mulan has an international cast led by Yifei Liu and appears to be a more straightforward epic compared to the animated version.
More than 1,300 people have died and over 60,000 have been infected, mostly in mainland China. The outbreak of the virus has forced the shut down of businesses all over the country, including movie theatres. Disney’s theme parks in Shanghai and Hong Kong, have also been shut until further notice.
A Disney spokesperson said that the studio is monitoring the situation closely.