Did ‘Mulan’ Ruin All Chances of ‘Black Widow’ Releasing on Disney+?

COVID-19 has changed the way we live our lives, from the way college kids attend school to what we decide to do on our days off.

One area of life that’s dramatically changed this year is the way we watch movies; film-lovers around the world have been stuck at home for months, watching movies on their flat screens instead of at the theater. Production companies are desperately trying to figure out a way to continue to make a profit in this new reality.

Marvel Cinematic Universe fans have been anticipating the release of Black Widow for what seems like ages now, but its release was, yet, again, postponed. Some people are blaming Mulan for this – do they have a fair point?

Disney released ‘Mulan’ on Disney Plus

Liu Yifei attends the ‘Mulan’ photocall | Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

As we all know, Disney is obsessed lately with making live-action remakes of their classic animated films, and most recent on the docket has been Mulan, the classic story about a girl in China who disguises herself as a man so that she can volunteer for the army.

The live-action remake stars Liu Yifei as the legendary titular character, and fans were dying for the release date after the first trailer came out.

Because of COVID-19, Disney decided to delay the theater release of Mulan, which was originally intended for March of 2020. A few months later, they announced that they’d be premiering Mulan on their streaming service, Disney+, instead of wait until they could successfully debut it in American movie theaters.

It was released on Disney+ in September, and was available for $30 (on top of the monthly subscription fee).

‘Mulan’ was met with lukewarm reception

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Although Disney hasn’t released the exact viewership numbers for their Mulan premiere,  all evidence points to the fact that the movie was, basically, a flop; one reviewer at Vanity Fair declared: “The live-action film turns a treasured animated epic into a plodding bore.”

The Verge called the movie “the year’s most beautiful let down.”

On top of already having high expectations placed on it because it’s a remake of a beloved animated film, the reviewer says, the delayed release date and political troubles with the star didn’t help it any: “That Mulan is the trial balloon for this release [on Disney+] … is suspect and another weight on the back of an already overburdened film. …[Mulan] does not live up to the expectations placed on it, nor does it make a compelling argument against its earliest critics.”

Considering this, it’s fair to assume that not a whole lot of people paid $30 to watch Mulan at home, but what does this have to do with Black Widow?

‘Mulan’ may have pushed back the ‘Black Widow’ release date even further

Another highly anticipated Disney film, Marvel’s Black Widow starring Scarlett Johansson, has also been delayed this year; however, rather than release the film on Disney+ this year (it was slated to premiere in November), Disney has postponed the release date until May of 2021, per Variety.

Some fans are blaming the fact that Mulan‘s Disney Plus release wasn’t successful for the fact that they’ll now have to wait 6 months longer for the release of their next favorite superhero movie.

One fan on Reddit explained: “There are a lot of industry decisions being made off of two movies with, at best, “lukewarm” reception. Tenent and Mulan have a strong reception from critics but not audiences, and I feel like a lot of decisions are being made off of that.”

Although some fans argued that Black Widow would have still performed better than Mulan, even on Disney+, someone declared, “I’m sure Disney is factoring that into their forecast. But if you take Mulan as the baseline and forecast the MCU bump, they must have determined it was still not worth it.”

Whether Mulan is at fault or not, it looks like MCU fans will have to wait a few more months to see Black Widow in action.