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monster hunter
via Constantin Film

A turgid fantasy bomb pulled from theaters after offending an entire nation slays on streaming

That's one way to torpedo your chances of box office success.

Husband and wife duo Paul W.S. Anderson and Milla Jovovich found the most lucrative success of their respective careers in the world of video game adaptations, so it made sense they would return to the well after drawing their association with Resident Evil to a close. What they didn’t plan for, though, was Monster Hunter offending an entire nation.

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Big hopes were pinned on the blockbuster fantasy’s chances of finding box office success in China, a market where console-to-screen translations have always performed admirably, while the nation’s theatrical industry was in much ruder health than the rest of the world at the time of its December 2020 release.

monster hunter

All it took was one line of dialogue to rankle the masses, with a throwaway gag being interpreted as an offensive slur towards the local population. The director, producers, and stars all issued an apology for the unintentional affront, leading to Monster Hunter being pulled from cinemas all across China as a result – effectively torpedoing its chances of turning a profit.

In the end, it couldn’t even come close to recouping its $60 million budget on the big screen, although it has proven to be a strong performer on home video and VOD ever since. Finding a way back into the hearts of audiences once more, Monster Hunter is now flying high as the 12th most-watched title on HBO Max’s global charts.

Per FlixPatrol, the thoroughly unremarkable shoot ’em up has become a Top 10 hit in 11 countries around the world, and it hasn’t managed to offend anyone else as far as we’re aware.

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Scott Campbell
News, reviews, interviews. To paraphrase Keanu Reeves; Words. Lots of words.