Having already generated backlash from theater owners after being pulled from the release schedule in most regions and sent exclusively to Disney Plus for a one-off fee, the conversation surrounding Mulan has circled back around to criticism of the production’s links to China.
Back when the live-action remake was heading to the big screen, star Liu Yifei came under fire for defending the Hong Kong police, leading for calls to boycott the movie. Then, once Mulan became available to purchase, those calls started growing louder again, especially when people discovered that the Mouse House had thanked the nation’s Xinjiang region in the credits, an area of the country that’s been finding itself in the headlines for alleged human rights violations against the Turkish-speaking Uighur people, which isn’t a good look for a family-friendly American conglomerate.
Niki Caro’s $200 million epic might be a streaming exclusive in this part of the world, but Mulan is set to debut in Chinese theaters this weekend, and the studio will be hoping for some big numbers having specifically catered the movie to native audiences after removing sidekick Mushu from the story so as not to cause offense, as well as trimming other scenes to make it past the strict censorship board.
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However, China has now barred all media outlets from covering Mulan, which you would imagine is directly tied to the latest controversy. This could be a huge blow for Disney, as the blockbuster seemed destined for success in what marks their only real chance to recoup some of the production costs in theaters.
The Chinese box office is firmly on the rebound, with The Eight Hundred already the second highest-grossing title of 2020 after raking in over $335 million in just three weeks, and you can bet that studio execs were no doubt hoping that Mulan would prove just as popular.
Source: The Disinsider