Why ‘Mulan’ and other summer blockbusters won’t be coming to a home near you

Disney is releasing a live action version of "Mulan" in 2020.
Disney is releasing a live action version of "Mulan" in 2020. (Walt Disney Pictures)

(CNN) -- With theaters closed because of coronavirus, studios are shifting all types of films to digital platforms. Yet one genre is largely missing from Hollywood's digital revolution: blockbusters.

Not long after the crisis started, studios began announcing revised release dates that pushed their biggest franchises into late 2020, and in many instances well into 2021. While Universal irked theater owners by boasting about the on-demand returns from "Trolls World Tour," those kinds of numbers aren't enough to offset the money left on the table by forgoing a global theatrical launch.

That's why films like "Black Widow," "No Time to Die" and "F9" were delayed instead of released digitally. With no clear guidance about if, when or how theaters will reopen, could big films like "Mulan" or "Wonder Woman 1984" make the giant leap to digital?

Probably not, according to Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at Boxoffice.com.

"Unless there is a drastic setback from current plans to gradually reopen cinemas, I wouldn't bet on it," Robbins said. "The blockbusters remaining on the schedule have too much dependency on box office revenue."

Robbins added that a digital release could also "cannibalize the profits of a major title" via potential home video sales and global box office returns.

A summer movie season amid coronavirus

Keeping blockbusters on the big screen is sometimes about more than money, however.