Disney has removed its big-budget remake of Mulan from its release schedule and has pushed back dates for four Avatar films and three Star Wars movies amid the coronavirus outbreak.  

This is the fourth delay for Mulan, which stars Lui Yifei in the title role. It was due to be released early this year on March 27, but the pandemic closed cinemas around the world before it made it to the big screen. Disney then moved it to July 24 before switching to its most recent date of August 21.

It has now been postponed indefinitely. 

A Disney representative said: "Over the last few months, it's become clear that nothing can be set in stone when it comes to how we release films during this global health crisis, and today that means pausing our release plans for Mulan as we assess how we can most effectively bring this film to audiences around the world."

Disney also pushed back a stream of other releases. James Cameron's Avatar 2 - a sequel to the 2009 film that was at the time the highest-grossing movie ever - has been delayed a year to December 2022.

The other films in the franchise will be released every other December, Disney said, finishing with Avatar 5 in 2028.

Three Star Wars films were also delayed. The first untitled movie has shifted from December 2022 to a year later, while the two others will be released in December 2025 and December 2027 respectively.

Sony also announced the upcoming Spider-Man sequel starring Tom Holland had been delayed by a month to take advantage of Avatar 2 vacating the Christmas 2021 slot.

The superhero movie will now be released in the US on December 17, 2021, and not November 5 as previously scheduled, the studio announced.

Other films delayed by Disney include Sir Ridley Scott's historical thriller The Last Duel, which stars Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. That has shifted from December of this year to October 2021.

However, not all of Disney's films were shifted to next year. Sir Kenneth Branagh's adaptation of Agatha Christie's Death On The Nile was pushed back two weeks to October 23, 2020.

The Mulan delay is another bitter blow to the ailing cinema industry, following Warner Bros' decision to push back Christopher Nolan's much-anticipated blockbuster Tenet.

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