'Mulan' flopped in its box-office debut in China
- Disney's live-action "
Mulan" remake debuted in China over the weekend with a disappointing $23 million, even with most theaters in the region back open.
- Calls erupted from outside China to boycott the movie after it premiered on Disney Plus and the end credits offered thanks to several Chinese government entities in Xinjiang that had been implicated in human-rights violations against Muslim Uighurs.
- Chinese authorities forced a
mediablackout on the movie in an effort to hide the growing controversy, according to Variety.
- Disney earlier this month debuted "Mulan" on Disney Plus for an additional $30 fee in the US and other territories where the streamer is available.
- It was watched by 1.12 million US households on connected-TV devices from September 4 to September 7 — its first few days of release — according to the analytics company Samba TV.
"Mulan" was supposed to be a major hit in China.
But after months of delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Disney live-action remake experienced disappointing results after finally arriving in theaters in the region.
The movie earned just $23 million in its China debut over the weekend. Most theaters are back open in China, though with seating restricted to 30% capacity. It's a lousy start for a movie that cost $200 million to produce and skipped a theatrical release in the US in favor of the Disney Plus
Calls from outside China to boycott the movie erupted after its streaming premiere. The end credits thanked several Chinese government entities in Xinjiang that had been implicated in human-rights violations against Muslim Uighurs. Parts of the movie were filmed in the country's Xinjiang region.
Nearly 44% of tweets about "Mulan" in the first nine days of September expressed a negative sentiment toward the movie, according to the data-trends company SEMrush (about 40% expressed a positive sentiment). Roughly 19,000 tweets used the hashtag "#BoycottMulan" on Twitter in that time period.
Chinese authorities forced a media blackout on the movie in an effort to hide the growing controversy, according to Variety.
Disney hasn't released viewership details for "Mulan" on Disney Plus, but data from the analytics company Samba TV provides a snapshot of how much money it made in its US debut over Labor Day weekend. According to Samba TV, 1.12 million US households watched the movie from September 4 to September 7 on connected TVs, which include smarts TVs, Roku, and gaming consoles but not mobile or laptop viewership.
At $30 apiece, that means it earned $33.5 million, according to Samba TV estimates. It has grossed $37.8 million at the global
"Mulan" will be available to all Disney Plus subscribers at no additional cost in December.
- Read more of Business Insider's coverage of "Mulan"
- 'Mulan' viewership data from connected TVs provide a snapshot of how much money it made in its first weekend on Disney Plus
- The 'Boycott Mulan' movement has surged and turned online sentiment around the movie negative, according to new social-media data
- Disney's decision to debut 'Mulan' on Disney Plus for $30 could mean big changes for movie theaters, but the economics of high-price digital releases are daunting
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