Saturday, January 6, 2018

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Bombs in China

The Last Jedi is running out of steam fast.

The critical score at Rotten Tomatoes has slid to 90% Fresh and the Audience score is now sitting on the knife's edge of fifty percent.

And now there is the China problem.

The Force Awakens pulled in 125 million in China which is okay-ish. Although that is not as hot as China can get as a market. Warcraft made 213 million. And the Fate of the Furious pulled in 392 million.
So there is clearly blood that is not being squeezed from that stone by Disney. 

Hollywood Reporter

Friday's early box-office results have The Last Jedi clearly losing to local comedy The Ex-File 3: The Return of the Exes. As of 4:30 p.m., Beijing time, The Last Jedi had earned approximately $5 million (33 million RMB) compared to Ex-Files 3's $11.6 million (75 million RMB), according to data from mobile ticketing service Maoyan.

The results came despite The Last Jedi getting substantially more screens — approximately a 35.6 percent share of all Chinese screens — compared to Ex-File's 32.3 percent (again, as of 4:30 p.m. Friday). And adding insult to injury: Ex-File opened in China a full week ago.

The Ex-File franchise was created by comedy writer-turned-director Tian Yusheng. The franchise tells a series of stories about ex-girlfriends who enact revenge upon badly behaving ex-boyfriends. Ironically, the Chinese films echo the classic Star Wars movies in their titles: the second film is Ex-Files 2: The Backup Strikes Back (2015, $38.9 million) and the third, currently dominating Last Jedi, is titled The Ex-File 3: The Return of the Exes.

It's possible Last Jedi could mount a comeback by the end of Friday, but the chances are looking very slim.

The Last Jedi's current global gross to date is $1.11 billion (The Force Awakens earned $2.06 billion in total; Rogue One took $1.06).

The Star Wars franchise's challenges in China are well established by now (see here for a deeper dive). The Force Awakens earned $124 million in the Middle Kingdom in 2016, but that was only enough to rank 13th in China for the year, a soft finish compared to its all-time number-one showing in North America ($936.6 million).

Perhaps most troubling for Disney, the Chinese audience seems to be liking the Star Wars universe less and less. Despite featuring two Chinese stars, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story earned just $69.5 million for a 35th place finish last year (after, again coming in first place in North America).

Rogue One did rather poorly in China at 65 million and the Last Jedi is doing worse than that track.

 Not the end of world for Star Wars of course but it should be remembered The Force Awakens pulled in 2 billion world wide.  This one is going to top out at 1.2 billion maybe 1.3 absolute max.  So roughly in Rogue One's territory.  Now if you can get a billion per movie who the fuck cares if the old guard of Star Wars fandom abandons you. 

But then Rogue One had an 87% audience approval score at Rotten Tomatoes.   

Solo is due for a summer release.  I think the numbers from that one are going to be the tea leaves in the bottom of the cup.


Jew613 said...

There's just something off about all art made by SJWs, as a group they dont seem to quite understand how humans interact. The best of their stuff is only slightly off, as if they've seen humans and are trying to mimic but some of the subtleties are wrong. Kind of like you assemble a piece of ikea furniture and some of the pieces are just slightly too large. It all fits together but never looks right.

The worst of it is as if the random stream of nonsense that comes out of the mouth of the clearly disturbed homeless man covered in filth on the street corner was put on film. It makes no sense and leaves a feeling of disgust and pity inside you.

On a happy note Disney loves money, so maybe this franchise killer will inspire some serious house cleaning.

Lovekraft said...

Yes, I think the term you are looking for is 'forced'. Perhaps it's my age but, using Suicide Squad as an example, and more notably, Paul Rudd and his diversity-buddies in Ant Man, their interactions didn't seem ... right.

Johnny said...

On a money level is not how much money this movie makes, it is that Disney has a huge investment in the Star Wars brand. Most of the time you are only as good as your last movie, but perhaps Star Wars gets a second chance. The next one better be good or else.

A side zinger is that one bad scene can wreck a movie and Orientals have a low opinion of blacks. I am told the black lead kisses this Oriental looking character. Oh my! Is that still in when they show it in China? Bet'ya it is.

Jew613 said...

Lovekraft, that is exactly it. I actually liked ant-man though like you said the scenes with paul rudd and his diversity pals felt forced. It was a small enough part of the movie that I still enjoyed the film.

bert bvdemier said...

The Warcraft movie is basicly a movie about a Human Kingdom defending itself against an invasion of a Foreign Horde and it makes 213 million in China.

Really makes you think, doesn't it.

Cataline Sergius said...

@bert bvdemier

It was also an overly long epic and everyone died tragically in it.

It was irresistible to the People of Han.

Cataline Sergius said...


A lot of it comes from the constant stream of emotional validation being hosed over SJW characters.

Rey's being good at everything and everyone being amazed at her specialness is a prime example but you can see the same thing in all Marvel comics these days.

The Marval emo validation thing is almost hilarious because in the old days if anyone was being nice to Peter Parker it was only to set him up for an even worse disaster than would normally befall the poor shlub.