The release of Disney's live-action remake of Mulan has been delayed for a second time. It will be a blow to cinema operators who want blockbuster movies to draw audiences back in the midst of the pandemic.
Mulan was scheduled to be released in March, but was postponed until Friday, July 24, after cinemas around the world were forced to close because of the coronavirus outbreak.
However, that date has now been pushed back further, to Friday, August 21, the company said in a statement.
"While the pandemic has changed our release plans for Mulan and we will continue to be flexible as conditions require, it has not changed our belief in the power of this film and its message of hope and perseverance," Alan Horn and Alan Bergman, co-chairmen of Walt Disney Studios, said in the statement.
The $200 million (Dh734.6m) live-action remake of Disney’s 1998 animated classic stars Liu Yifei in the title role.
Cinema owners around the world had been hoping to offer Mulan in July, as well as Christopher Nolan's thriller Tenet, to help lure audiences back to the big screen. However, both films are now slotted for an August release, with Tenet to be screened on Wednesday, August 12.
Cinemas around the world have been hit hard by coronavirus shutdowns, which began in mid-March, and have had to lay off tens of thousands of employees and borrow funds to stay afloat.
In Dubai, chains including Vox and Reel, have hosted drive-in cinemas in a bid to offer films to audiences in a safe environment.
However, indoor cinemas across Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah, Ajman and Sharjah have now reopened, with strict social-distancing measures in place.
Vox is yet to update its pre-booking system to reflect the new release date for Disney's Mulan. However, audiences can book to see Disney's Onward, Sonic the Hedgehog and The Call of the Wild, which are all currently showing.