Disney has delayed the release of a trio of major films this year, citing the ‘global health crisis’ that has come out of the coronavirus pandemic. The live action re-make of Mulan – originally planned for a March release this year, but hoping to make an August launch – has now been postponed indefinitely.
“It’s become clear that nothing can be set in stone when it comes to how we release films during this global health crisis,” said a Disney representative. “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.”
On top of this, the forthcoming Star Wars trilogy has been pushed back a year as a result of the uncertainty around the coronavirus outbreak. The first film in the new trio will now be release on December 22, 2023, instead of its original December 2022 date.
The first instalment of a four-part sequel to Avatar has also been pushed back to December 16, 2022. Avatar 3, 4, and 5 are due out on December 20, 2024, December 18, 2026, and December 22, 2028.
Avatar director, James Cameron released a statement regarding the set back, citing that delays were due to the pandemic. He revealed that “prior to COVID-19, everything was on track to bring you the first sequel in December 2021.
“Unfortunately, due to the impact that the pandemic has had on our schedule it is no longer possible for us to make that date.”
Victory Hill Exhibitions, a subsidiary of Cityneon Holdings, has picked up the multi-year licensing rights for a global touring exhibition based on James Cameron’s blockbuster film Avatar. Cityneon will work closely with Disney Location-Based Experiences and James Cameron and Jon Landau’s Lightstorm Entertainment on the venture.
With Avatar set to release the first of four sequels next year, Cityneon will look to curate an engaging experience for audiences to visit worldwide. The state-of-the-art touring exhibition will feature numerous interactive, multi-sensory segments where guests can explore the wonders of Pandora, the distant moon which is the setting for the films.
Ron Tan, executive chairman and chief executive officer of Cityneon, said: “We are honoured to work with Disney and Lightstorm Entertainment. All of us share the same vision of bringing these experiences alive with artistry and inventiveness. We are thrilled to be part of this collaboration. There’s a lot of anticipation for the film’s first sequel, and we’re excited to be part of the global effort to complement the film’s release with a truly immersive experience for fans in various markets.”
Lightstorm Entertainment’s president of franchise development, Kathy Franklin, added: “Our powerful new relationship with Cityneon for this global touring exhibition will play a key role in our continuing expansion of the reach and impact of the Avatar franchise around the world.”
Released in 2009, James Cameron’s Avatar was the highest-grossing film in motion picture history with a box office gross of nearly $2.8 billion, a record held for ten years. Captivating audiences across the globe with its otherworldly visuals and groundbreaking special effects, the film quickly became a worldwide phenomenon. Avatar is set to be followed by four sequels, with the first sequel scheduled for release in December 2021.