‘Mulan’ Is Sinking at the Chinese Box Office, and Here Are 3 Reasons Why

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

Mulan 2020 Liu Yifei
Photo credit: Walt Disney Studios

Despite making extra efforts to appeal to a Chinese audience, Disney’s “Mulan” is falling well short of expectations at the overseas box office, and even the grade curve granted by the pandemic’s impact on theaters worldwide doesn’t improve the look of its $23.2 million Chinese opening. Though the film was moved to a premium video-on-demand release on Disney+, “Mulan” is still getting theatrical release in China and several Asian countries that do not have the streaming service. Even with capacity in Chinese theaters capped at 50%, the runaway success of “The Eight Hundred” — which will soon enter the country’s all-time Top 10 list with $387 million grossed so far — shows how quickly the market has been able to recover with a film that can garner widespread interest.


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