Disney Delays Release of Mulan, Star Wars, Avatar Movies

Disney made a number of changes to its release schedule due to COVID-19 disruptions.
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Citing production shutdowns and theater closures, Disney is pushing back the dates of three major film releases.

Mulan, which was originally slated for an August 21 release, is delayed indefinitely, Disney said in a statement on Thursday. It also pushed back the releases of three Star Wars movies and four Avatar sequels by one year.

Disney  (DIS) - Get Report shares fell 1.3% in after hours trading. 

“Over the last few months, it’s become clear that nothing can be set in stone when it comes to how we release films during this global health crisis, and today that means pausing our release plans for ‘Mulan’ as we assess how we can most effectively bring this film to audiences around the world,” said a Disney spokesperson in a statement. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has already twice derailed the release of Mulan, a live action version of the original Disney film. Its release date was originally slated for March 2020, and was subsequently rescheduled for July, then August. Disney made a few other changes to its release schedule, according to the Hollywood Reporter, delaying some film openings by anywhere from a couple of weeks to several months.  

Disney has taken a significant financial hit this year from COVID-19, as social distancing measures and stay-home mandates forced it to close theme parks, shut down film and movie productions, and halt its cruise lines.

Disney+ has been a bright spot for Disney in 2020, with the company reporting 54.5 million subscribers in early May, about six months after the app's release last November. 

 Shares of Disney are down about 20% year to date.