Walt Disney has postponed the release of three major films, dealing a fresh blow to cinema operators struggling amid the pandemic.
The new Avatar and Star Wars films have been delayed a year, while Mulan has been removed from schedules completely. Mulan, already delayed because of cinema closures, was scheduled for release at the end of August. A rise in virus cases in the US and the impact globally on film production forced the change.
It had been hoped that Mulan might spark a late-summer rebound in cinema-going. The Avatar sequel is now set to debut in theatres in December 2022, and the next Star Wars movie in December 2023.
A Disney spokesman said, “It’s become clear that nothing can be set in stone when it comes to how we release films during this global health crisis. 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.”