Disney might face extreme headaches soon as the coronavirus outbreak is set to massively change the fate of its upcoming movie "Mulan."
"Mulan" made a lot of noise and grabbed people's attention even before its release because it is the first major Disney movie to have an all-Asian cast.
With that said, the studio expected the remake of the 1998 animated film to be a huge hit once it premieres in China, the second-largest movie market in the world. In addition, having Donnie Yen, Jet Li and Gong Li made Disney anticipate guaranteed success worldwide.
However, the rapid spread of the new coronavirus across the country that caused theaters to close could hurt Disney's expected sales from "Mulan."
Why Is China Important?
The coronavirus outbreak will definitely sting for Disney, especially since they will rely heavily on overseas revenues, particularly from China and Asia for their new film.
Since the number of patients affected by the virus boomed in just less than a month, with confirmed cases rising to more than 81,000, the supposed sure-win of "Mulan" will continue to be delayed.
The said virus, which was described as a "bleak winter" for the Chinese entertainment industry, is quickly spreading throughout the continent of Europe. Even earlier this week, the U.S. health officials warned Americans to prepare for it since it could become a pandemic.
"It certainly has worldwide and global appeal, but there's no denying that this is a very important film for the Chinese market," Paul Dergarabedian, senior analyst of Comscore, said. "It's a huge blow for Disney if it doesn't release in China."
He added that all of the movies that were set for supposed released this February and in the upcoming months will face a similar fate as Disney's "Mulan."
It is solely due to the fact that China's contribution to box office revenue always skyrockets to billions. In fact, last year, the country added $9.2 billion to the entertainment industry's sales.
The amount was only a few billion shy of the $11.4 billion from the United States. This alone explains why the country plays a massive role in making films from major Hollywood studios even more successful.
Disney's president of production Sean Bailey told The Hollywood Reporter that he is personally looking at the situation everyday amid the widespread health crisis.
The pressure is currently on his shoulders since "Mulan" is a $200-million budgeted film ,the priciest among all Disney's recent live-action remakes.
Even the lead actress Liu Yifei shared her thoughts.
"I'm so touched actually to see how they haven't been out for weeks," the Chinese actress uttered. "I'm really hoping for a miracle and that this will just be over soon."
The coronavirus outbreak is another slap in Liu's face after she caused the #BoycottMulan movement. She drew controversy in August since she supported the police crackdown in Hong Kong.