Star Wars: The Last Jedi has officially been pulled from Chinese theaters after an underwhelming performance at the box office these past few weeks. The film grossed $28.7 million in its opening weekend in China, but earned a far lower $2.4 million during its second week in theaters. Compared to other Star Wars films that have released in Mainland China, this is considerably low.
Chatting with THR, Jimmy Wu, chairman of Lumiere Pavilions — a Chinese movie theater chain — had this to say: “The Last Jedi has already been completely pulled from cinemas here. It’s performed much worse than we could have expected.”
How a movie will fare in China is notoriously difficult to predict. Any film that isn’t part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or the Transformers or Fast and the Furious franchise, are not guaranteed to be a success with Chinese moviegoers. With the government only allowing a select amount of U.S. films to be released in the country per year, the Chinese box office can make or break a film in terms of international receipts. However, it’s a serious gamble. For example, Blade Runner 2049 tanked in its opening weekend in China. What movie sold more tickets that same weekend? Geostorm.
In Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the Skywalker saga continues as the heroes of The Force Awakens join the galactic legends in an epic adventure that unlocks age-old mysteries of the Force and shocking revelations of the past.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi sees returning cast members Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Carrie Fisher (Leia Organa), Adam Driver (Kylo Ren), Daisy Ridley (Rey), John Boyega (Finn), Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron), Lupita Nyong’o (Maz Kanata), Domhnall Gleeson (General Hux), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Gwendoline Christie (Captain Phasma), Billie Lourd (Lieutenant Connix), Andy Serkis (Supreme Leader Snoke), Peter Mayhew and Joonas Suotamo (Chewbacca), Tim Rose (Admiral Ackbar), Mike Quinn (Nien Nunb) and Warwick Davis joined by new additions Jimmy Vee (Pan) as R2-D2, Kelly Marie Tran (Ladies Like Us) as Rose, Benicio Del Toro (Guardians of the Galaxy) as DJ and Laura Dern (Jurassic Park) as Vice Admiral Holdo.