'Mulan,' 'Fast and Furious' delayed as Hollywood adapts to coronavirus

Disney had held a red-carpet premiere on Monday to promote 'Mulan' and said at the time that the film would be released in the United States as planned on 27 March.

The cast of F9. Picture: @TheFastSaga/Twitter.

NEW YORK - The release of Walt Disney Co’s epic action movie _Mulan _and Universal Pictures’ ninth Fast and Furious film were postponed on Thursday as Hollywood scrambled to adjust to the worldwide spread of coronavirus.

Disney had held a red-carpet premiere on Monday to promote _Mulan _and said at the time that the film would be released in the United States as planned on 27 March.

But on Thursday, as US authorities urged against large gatherings and took other steps to stop coronavirus spread, Disney said it had decided “out of an abundance of caution” to postpone the debut of _Mulan _as well as April releases The New Mutants and Antlers.

“We truly believe in the moviegoing experience, and we are looking at new potential 2020 release dates to be announced at a later date,” a Disney spokesperson said.

F9, the new Fast and Furious movie from Comcast Corp’s Universal Pictures, was scheduled to debut 22 May. Its release was delayed by nearly a year to 2 April 2021.

_Mulan _and _F9 _were expected to rank among the biggest box-office hits in the coming months but were among several disruptions to global entertainment caused by coronavirus.

The virus has closed movie theatres in China, Italy and many other nations, while a ban on travel from Europe to the United States announced by President Donald Trump on Wednesday is seen likely to curtail red carpets and other promotional events for movies and stars.

US movie theatres remained open as of Thursday. But an industry source said operators may close larger theatres in some areas depending on advice from local authorities.

Ohio on Thursday banned crowds of more than 100 people. In California, Governor Gavin Newsom advised against non-essential gatherings of more than 250 through the end of the month.

Movie theatres were exempted, but even if they stay open, their schedules would have to be rearranged.

Also on Thursday, Paramount Pictures, a unit of ViacomCBS Inc, indefinitely delayed the release of the thriller A Quiet Place Part II, which was due to start its international rollout on March 18. And it postponed romantic comedy The Lovebirds, originally set for 3 April.

“Due to the ever-changing circumstances of what’s going on in the world around us, now is clearly not the right time to do that,” the Quiet Place director John Krasinski said in a post on his Instagram account.

The decisions followed the postponement last week of the James Bond movie _No Time to Die _to November from April, and a delay for Peter Rabbit 2 to August from 27 March.

Separately, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland postponed its induction ceremony scheduled for 2 May to an unspecified future date. That followed the cancellation of the Coachella music festival, South by Southwest and other large entertainment gatherings.