It appears that China is ordering their media not to cover Disney’s Mulan after the backlash over Disney thanking and filming in the Xinjiang region. Reuters has stated that four sources have told them about this order.
Mulan is supposed to open in Chinese theaters on September 11th. It’s been widely known that Disney has been banking on the Chinese release of the film and allegedly even tailored the script and scenes to input from representatives from China.
Now it seems that China is going to censor the media and put a big dent in the PR for this film. This is not going to go over well for Disney as China is the world’s second largest market for films. Lack of media coverage will hurt the films box office numbers. Pair that with the already limited theatrical capacity due to to the coronavirus and this might not be the “hit” Disney hoped it would be.
However, they do have some tickets already sold as of Thursday afternoon there were “9.78 million yuan ($1.43 million) worth of tickets [sold]….accounting for 55% of all ticket sales sold across China for Friday’s shows.”
However The Media Is Apparently Being Told Not To Cover It:
According to Reuters:
“Three sources told Reuters media outlets had received the notice, two of whom said it was sent by the Cyberspace Administration of China. A fourth source at a major Chinese newspaper said he received a text message with a similar order from a senior colleague.
No reason was given in the notice, but the sources said they believed it was because of the overseas backlash over the film’s links to Xinjiang.
Neither the Cyberspace Administration or Disney immediately responded to requests for comment.”
Many think this has to due with the backlash the film is facing over the credits thanking the Xinjiang region of China. Part of the film was shot there and this region is where some countries have been pointing out human rights violations against “Uighurs and other Muslims.”
Some are pointing out that Disney keeps making these grand displays about being against racism and discrimination, and yet they are involved in all of this.
When the film was released people started pointing this out on Twitter:
Mulan specifically thank the publicity department of CPC Xinjiang uyghur autonomous region committee in the credits.
You know, the place where the cultural genocide is happening.
— Jeannette Ng 吳志麗 (@jeannette_ng) September 7, 2020
All of that aside, the Chinese reviews of the film are also not very good.
After Disney made sure to tailor the film to China, the movie is only getting a 4.7 out of 10 on the Douban social media site. There is a lot here working against Disney on this one.
But on the plus side, Mulan allegedly performed better than Hamilton did on the initial, opening weekend, in the debut markets on Disney+. They might need it to perform very well in all the Disney+ markets to offset losses they might face in China.
Disney really can’t afford to lose more money right now.
What do you think? Comment and let us know!
Source: Reuters, @jeannette_ng on Twitter.