‘Mulan’ is sinking at the Chinese box office, and here are 3 reasons


Tough competition, theft and political controversy have overwhelmed Disney’s latest remake

Despite making extra efforts to appeal to Chinese audiences, Disney’s “Mulan” is falling well short of expectations at the overseas box office, and even given the grade curve given the impact of the epidemic on theaters around the world Also does not improve its $ 23.2 million improvement. Chinese Opening.

Although the film was moved to a premium video-on-demand release on Disney +, “Mulan” is still a theatrical release in China and many Asian countries with no streaming service. Even with 50% capacity in Chinese cinemas, the runoff success of “The Eight Hundred” – which will soon be recorded in the nation’s all-time Top 10 list with $ 387 million, reveals how much the market Has recovered quickly. With a film that could generate widespread interest.

That type of film does not appear to be “Mulan”. This is not the worst-performing Disney remake of all time in China. This equates with a $ 22.5 million opening for “Melficant: Mistress of Evil” and a further $ 18.6 million earned by “Aladdin” last year. But those films were not made with Chinese audiences in mind, with stars such as Liu Yifei, Donnie Yen and Gong Li leading the “Mulan” cast, while Eddie animated Murphy’s more American elements of the original animated film like Mushu. Was removed. . Even by epidemic standards, “Mulan” failed to outperform Warner Bros. opening weekend. ‘”Tenet”, which took $ 30 million in China last weekend.

Where Disney went wrong in its attempts to appeal to Chinese filmmakers will be evaluated in the coming days and weeks, but some factors can be quickly identified.

Tough competition

However, the mind-blowing success of “The Eight Hands” would have initially encouraged Warner Bros. and Disney, before they released their blockbuster, Huawei Brothers, in China. Even after five weeks of the release of the war film, Hollywood is proving stiff competition for imports. “The Hundred Hundred” snatched the No. 1 spot from “Mulan” with a total gross of $ 21.5 million over the weekend, pushing the film’s Chinese total of universal “Furious 7” despite the epidemic threshold.

In the past, we have seen American-made films about China that do well in the US but are largely ignored in China. Recent examples include “Crazy Rich Asians”, which grossed $ 174 million in China, but just $ 1.6 million in China and “The Farewell” grossed $ 17.6 million in limited US releases and only in China Earned $ 566,000. To provide a wide range of films to suit Chinese filmmakers with a strong local film industry, Americans try to buck the same trend.

Ironically, China has responded better to Disney films about other cultures, such as Pixar’s take on De de Mertos with “Coco”. But with the impression of all its local stars and the world’s largest entertainment company, filmgoes aside from families are showing a preference for films about China.

Piracy leads to poor word of mouth

For any release, not only “Mulan”, online piracy is an issue in China. Although distributors do not care that their films are released in China because they are dates set by the country’s film board, it is generally expected to be released in China as well as in the US Saketi and most other major markets, since high-definition copies of the film are often uploaded to torrent sites shortly after release in any market.

“Mulan” was no exception, as the film ended on Disney + within a day of its global PVOD release. To make matters worse, the torrent leaked after a wave of bad reviews for the film. While the film drew many deviations from the 1998 animated film, it also made changes to the original Chinese legend taught to children in China for centuries and those changes were soon shared on social media. Complaints about the film’s historical and cultural accuracy occurred in the Northern Wei era. Mulan was also a word of mouth. As a result, audience ratings for “Mulan” on the Chinese social media site Dublin now “sit at 4.9 / 10 compared to 7.8 / 10 for tents.”

Media blackout

Finally, there is growing controversy over the involvement of the Xinjiang police in the filming of “Mulan”, which has prompted a backlash by US lawmakers. In the film’s credits, the police of the Northwestern Autonomous Region where Uygar Muslims are largely under house arrest are listed in the Special Thanks section, causing backlash in both the US and Hong Kong, where “Mulan” The backlash for months has been intact. Liu Yifei pledged his support for the police after Hong Kong’s opposition to independence.

Last Thursday, Republican Sen. Josh Hawley published a letter criticizing Disney’s involvement with the Tarpan Municipal Bureau of Public Safety, calling it “hypocritical” for Disney to support the Voice for Black Lives Matter movement And then a violation of the rights to work with mass accused groups of humans. Such involvement could also be a violation of US sanctions, as the Trump administration imposed trumpet ban last year through the Commerce Department.

What does this have to do with the Chinese box office? In response to the growing political backlash against “Mulan”, China’s cyberspace administration ordered a media blackout against the film last week. No matter which country, pre-release discussion of a film is the key to the final week before release, and the lack of media coverage in China further reduces Disney’s ability to influence the conversation around the film .

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