Disney’s live-action Mulan remake will not see release in China anytime soon, due to the coronavirus outbreak currently affecting the country.
In response to the outbreak, 70,000 cinemas in China alone have closed their doors and will not be allowed to reopen again without permission from authorities.
This is a hugely significant development for the global film industry, as China is the second-largest market in the world for cinema tickets (closely behind the United States).
In the last few years alone, numerous films have underperformed financially in Europe and the U.S., only to be saved by money from Chinese audiences.
But since the coronavirus first took hold in January, ticket sales have dropped by an estimated $200 million compared to the same timeframe in 2019, according to Variety.
As a result, Disney has said that Mulan is unlikely to release in China on its previously announced date of 27th March – which is when it will air in the States and the UK.
With a production budget pegged to be around $200 million, the studio could face a significant loss if the film failed to gain any traction in China once it is released.
Mulan isn’t the only film holding back as Paramount’s Sonic The Hedgehog adaptation has also been indefinitely delayed until such time as the situation becomes less serious.
There has not yet been any indication that similar delays could hit the UK, in spite of warnings from Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who told BBC News that the virus is “likely” to spread.