It’s no secret that Star Wars: The Last Jedi has been a huge global smash everywhere apart from China. As Rian Johnson’s epic entry was enjoying healthy box-office receipts elsewhere, reports emerged earlier this month that it was struggling to make second place in China behind Tian Yusheng's The Ex-File: The Return of the Exes.
Now Forbes report that things have got even worse after China’s movie exhibitors have dramatically cut showtimes by a huge 92 percent, which has taken it from its 34.5% share of the region’s total screenings last Friday to just 2.6 percent this Friday. The report adds that it is an unprecedented move in Chinese cinema history.
It drew just $27 million during its opening weekend, whereas The Force Awakens made over $52 million during its weekend debut there.
Although The Last Jedi has now sailed past its target $1 billion at the global box office (its current total stands at an impressive $1,235,274,584), this latest misfire in the lucrative Chinese market will surely come as a blow to Disney and Lucasfilm.
We have discussed before how Star Wars has historically had a tricky time breaking through in the Chinese market, as the saga has never had a major presence in the country. Although they do play on television, not all of the original trilogy or newer prequels got proper theatrical releases.
What’s your take on the numbers? Let us know in the comments below.