Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi has certainly got people talking. Despite fierce backlash from hardcore fans, the movie is still taking in a very healthy amount at the box office. Everywhere except China, where the film has reportedly struggled to make a huge impact in its opening weekend.
That’s according to Variety, which is reporting that the latest movie in the The Last Jedi Struggles During Chinese Opening Weekend franchise has managed a fairly lackluster $28.7 million opening weekend in China. It only managed to slump into second position – behind the Chinese comedy The Ex-File: The Return of the Exes. For comparison sake, The Force Awakens managed $52 million in January 2016, eventually taking $124 million during its run.
To put those numbers in wider context – the movie has managed $220 million in its US opening weekend. The film also managed $450 million worldwide during its initial weekend run, giving it a huge launching pad. Since then, The Last Jedi has gone on to sail past the $1 billion mark and managed to overtake Bill Condon’s Beauty and the Beast to become the largest movie of 2017.
Despite these huge numbers, the low Chinese takings suggest that The Last Jedi is unlikely to come close to matching The Force Awakens – which managed over $2 billion at the worldwide box office back in 2015.
The news probably won’t come as a huge shock to executives at Disney. Chinese audiences have been largely indifferent to the Star Wars franchise through the years. Despite the addition of several high profile Chinese actors, it seems that audiences in the second largest market just aren’t interested in jumping on to the popular franchise.
Our Take: Chinese audiences have largely been going cold on American offerings – one of the big reasons 2017 was such a bust year for Hollywood. It seems that The Last Jedi only further confirms this continued decline in overall interest.