Disney’s live-action Mulan will be the first major film released into recently reopened movie theaters after Warner Bros. shifted director Christopher Nolan’s Tenet from 17 July to 31 July, one week after Mulan‘s scheduled 24 July opening.
One month ago, Disney CEO Bob Chapek said Mulan and other tentpole movies with blockbuster potential — including Marvel Studios’ Black Widow, delayed from 1 May to 6 November, and Pixar’s Soul, pushed from 19 June to 20 November, would not skip theaters for premium VOD or be released directly to the Disney+ streaming service after the company pulled the planned theatrical release of Artemis Fowl.
Mulan was among the first films postponed by the coronavirus pandemic in mid-March, just two weeks before its original 27 March opening date. The action drama directed by Niki Caro took the 24 July release date previously held by planned summer tentpole Jungle Cruise, now releasing in July 2021.
“We believe in the theatrical experience, particularly to launch big blockbuster franchise films,” Chapek said on CNBC’s Squawk Alley. “It fuels the entire Disney company, from consumer products to theme parks all the way to Disney+. And so we really think that’s the smart way to launch our big, tentpole films.”
The company however remains open to sending smaller films straight to streaming, including The One and Only Ivan, which has surrendered its 14 August theatrical release date. It will now premiere exclusively on Disney+ 21 August.
Starring Yifei Liu, Donnie Yen, Jason Scott Lee, Gong Li, Yoson An and Jet Li, Mulan is currently scheduled to open in theaters on 24 July.