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'Star Wars': China Theaters Pull 'Last Jedi' After Movie Tanks

'Star Wars': China Theaters Pull 'Last Jedi' After Movie Tanks
"Star Wars: The Last Jedi" underperformed in China. (Lucasfilm)

By    |   Wednesday, 17 January 2018 05:39 PM

Movie theaters in China have pulled “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” after only two weeks because of worse-than-expected performance, with some saying that the movie’s many references to earlier films didn’t resonate with young people who had not seen the original trilogy.

The film opened with $28.7 million in the first weekend but dropped to $2.4 million in the second weekend, leading cinemas to pull it from their lineups.

"'The Last Jedi' has already been completely pulled from cinemas here," nationwide Chinese cinema chain Lumiere Pavillions Chairman Jimmy Wu said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "It's performed much worse than we could have expected."

The film has grossed $1.27 billion worldwide but is expected to make less than $50 million in China, THR reported. "The Force Awakens" made $124 million in China, and "Rogue One," which had two Chinese co-stars, made $69 million.

The trend shows Chinese moviegoers are becoming less excited about "Star Wars" movies than their western counterparts, The Independent reported, and box office analysts say Chinese audiences do not have nostalgia for the series dating back to the late 1970s that American and European audiences do.

The original "Star Wars" trilogy didn't release in China until 2015, and then it was in an effort to get audiences excited for "The Force Awakens."

"Because of the complex characters and themes, the prequels, and all of the multigenerational layers that are part of the culture, or cult, of 'Star Wars,' it’s been hard for young Chinese filmgoers to get into the franchise," Beijing market-research firm Fanink co-founder James Li said, THR reported. 

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"Star Wars: The Last Jedi" has been pulled from theaters in China after only two weeks because of worse-than-expected performance.
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Wednesday, 17 January 2018 05:39 PM
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