Disney’s live-action adaptation of Mulan and Marvel Studios Black Widow were two of the company’s high-profile blockbusters that were immediately affected by the coronavirus. People have since wondered if the films would instead premiere on Disney+, like Pixar’s Onward, which will hit the streamer April 3.
Newsweek released an amazing piece breaking down how much of a financial challenge that would be.
In the case for Onward the film had two weeks in theaters, with theaters slowly shutting down and sadly had only grossed $100 million worldwide, so, Pixar was able to cut their losses on a project already put out.
As for Mulan, the studio was able to pull the film three weeks in advance. Disney is actively looking for a new release date for the film, the studio is looking to make as much money as possible on the project that is said to have had a production of near $300 million (not including marketing). Mulan would bring new subscribers to the service, sure but not enough to result in any revenue for the studio. For Mulan to make a $1 billion like other Disney live-action remakes Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King, Disney+ would need to bring in over 140 million “new” subscribers each paying $7 each. That is over four times the amount of subscribers the service currently has at 29 million. Mulan is also hoping to draw box office from China, which is the second largest movie market in the world just behind the U.S..
Marvel Studios Black Widow is in the same boat, the studio is also actively looking for a new release date, but also has untitled dates set, so the studio can easily shift projects as and if needed. For Black Widow to gross $1 billion — which Marvel feels it can gross, the film would need to do nearly the same as Mulan. Black Widow doesn’t have as high of a budget as Mulan but it’s not far off, and according to industry insiders, Black Widow had a much larger marketing budget which puts it on par with Mulan.
Lastly, I can say we have heard whispers of a couple films possibly making their debut on Disney+, those films are likely Artemis Fowl and New Mutants, both films have had their delays, and seem to have no buzz and would be a nice added bonus to the service, you could also make an argument for The One and Only Ivan, but I personally am unaware of the production budget, and the film is slated for an August release, so there is still time for the studio to generate buzz, and a trailer is ready and should be on the way soon.