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The Last Jedi losing 92% of showtimes in China a week after release

01.12.2018

The Force has not been strong with STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI in China.

Almost a month after it’s release, THE LAST JEDI is the biggest movie of the year both domestically and globally, so far pulling in over $1.2 billion worldwide. None of that money is coming from China though, as the movie had a dismal opening of only $27 million when it debuted last weekend. After only a week, exhibitors are already calling it quits, as a new report cites the movie is losing almost all its showtimes.

According to a new report by Forbes, THE LAST JEDI will be losing almost 92% of its showtimes in China, going down from 34% of the territory's total screenings to under 3%. Going on to make only $7 million through the week for a total of $34 million, the lack of enthusiasm China has for THE LAST JEDI mirrors the disappointing numbers for previous movies in the franchise. THE FORCE AWAKENS finished at a less-than-expected $124 million (after a $52 million opening), while ROGUE ONE ($31 million opening) made about half as much with $69 million – despite both getting massive advertising pushes.

 The immense drop in screenings is the result of a mixture of circumstances, one being that audiences across the country just aren’t showing up for the sci-fi sequel, with an opening only half the size of AWAKENS. Another reason is that the likes of JUMANJI and other Chinese releases will be making their way into theaters, and surely Chinese exhibitors felt LAST JEDI wasn’t doing well enough to justify keeping it in as many slots. Meanwhile, Pixar’s COCO has been doing well there, and is still in theaters after two months of release and has made $184 million.

China is the second biggest movie market in the world, and could even become the largest in a few years. Why audiences there are rejecting the Star Wars movies is a mystery to me. Maybe they just aren’t as into straight space operas like we are, but clearly, they’re becoming more and more disinterested. LAST JEDI had the worst opening of the three recent movies, and all signs pointed to it finishing on a weak note. The movie is doing notably less business everywhere else to compared to FORCE AWAKENS, but that was to be expected. But the movies are doing consistently worse in China, so Disney is going to have to do some serious work to get people excited about any new movies in the future. I'm praying for you, SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY. 

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI is in theaters now...but not really in China. 

Source: Forbes

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