Although Disney decided to forego a theatrical release for its live-action Mulan movie in favour of a premium VOD release on Disney+, the big-budget blockbuster has made it to cinemas in a number of countries including China – a market where the Mouse House had high expectations for the Niki Caro-directed film.
Mulan made its way into the Middle Kingdom this past weekend, and while it managed to dethrone the hugely successful The Eight Hundred from the top of the box office, the film earned just $23 million and is expected to finish its run in China with around $41 million in total.
Mulan’s numbers haven’t been helped by a media blackout on the film as the Chinese authorities attempt to downplay any ties to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, where the government has been embarking on a cultural genocide against the indigenous population. Disney shot scenes for the movie in Xinjiang, and thanked a number of government departments directed engaged in this campaign during the film’s end credits.
As yet, Disney hasn’t revealed any figures relation to Mulan’s PVOD performance, although CFO Christine McCarthy has said that the company was “very pleased” by its performance.
When the Emperor of China issues a decree that one man per family must serve in the Imperial Army to defend the country from Northern invaders, Hua Mulan, the eldest daughter of an honored warrior, steps in to take the place of her ailing father. Masquerading as a man, Hua Jun, she is tested every step of the way and must harness her inner-strength and embrace her true potential. It is an epic journey that will transform her into an honored warrior and earn her the respect of a grateful nation…and a proud father. “Mulan” features a celebrated international cast that includes: Yifei Liu as Mulan; Donnie Yen as Commander Tung; Jason Scott Lee as Böri Khan; Yoson An as Cheng Honghui; with Gong Li as Xianniang and Jet Li as the Emperor. Niki Caro directs the film from a screenplay by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver and Elizabeth Martin & Lauren Hynek based on the narrative poem “The Ballad of Mulan.”