The situation is not looking up for Mulan in China with a Saturday that saw a small 11% increase versus Friday.
the film has only grossed an additional $9M and analysts predict that the total release weekend gross will be “in the low $20M range”, an abysmal box office return compared to the film’s $200M budget.
Prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Disney expected the Chinese market to contribute significantly to the film’s box office and “tear up record books“.
Aside from the COVID-19 related circumstances that have led to a widespread reduction in cinema revenue, Mulan’s failure was facilitated by a general dissatisfaction with the quality of the film, as the film currently holds a 4.7 out of 10 on Chinese review site Douban and a 7.7 on ticketing platform Maoyan.
Another factor that undoubtedly contributed to the film’s poor debut are the numerous controversies that surrounded the film throughout its release and production.
In 2019, star Liu Yifei voiced support for the Hong Kong police force and the brutality they enacted upon the region’s democratic protestors, which resulted in a wave of backlash from both Hong Kong residents, protestors, and their Western supporters.
Upon the film’s release, it was discovered that Disney worked closely with the Chinese Communist Party to film in the controversial Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, where the CCP is actively abusing the human rights of the region’s Uyghur people.