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Star Wars: The Last Jedi has had one hell of a theatrical run. Today marks a full month since it's been released, and in that time the eighth installment of the main Star Wars series has made over $1.2 billion worldwide, nearly $579 million has come from domestic earnings. However, The Last Jedi hasn't been successful everywhere, as it got off to a poor start in China at the beginning of the month. Now we've learned that Chinese exhibitors are dropping the space opera from 92% of its screenings.
When Star Wars: The Last Jedi premiered in China, it was taking up 34.5% of the territory's screenings, but now Forbes is reporting that that's dropped to just 2.5%, which is a massive decrease. While Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and some local Chinese movies have provided competition for The Last Jedi, the fact is that in this territory, the blockbuster just hasn't been a commercial winner. It only drew in $27 million during its opening weekend there, and it only added $7 million during the week, totaling a dismal $34.2 million. For comparison, Ex-Files 3, a recently-released low-budget romantic comedy, made $87 million in its second weekend. The Disney/Pixar film Coco has also still been going strong in the Chinese market.
Although the Star Wars franchise isn't as popular as it is in the United States and certain other countries, learning that The Last Jedi has been dropped from so many screens in the Chinese market is still alarming. With that tiny sliver of screens left over, at least there are still some options left over for those who want to watch/re-watch it. On the other hand, if the Star Wars fanbase isn't nearly as big in China as it is in other parts of the globe, then perhaps all the fans have already been able to see it, meaning it may not be much longer until it's taken away from all Chinese screens entirely. Just because something is considered a pop culture sensation in one area doesn't mean it will have the same level of success in another area.
Fortunately for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, it's already cemented itself as a critical and commercial powerhouse globally. As mentioned earlier, it crossed the $1 billion mark, and before 2017 ended, it ranked as the third highest-grossing movie of the year, trailing only behind Beauty and the Beast (a fellow Disney release) at #1 and The Fate of the Furious at #2. The Last Jedi has also collected a lot of positive reviews, although it has drawn polarizing reactions from among the more hardcore fans, spawning numerous conversations and debates that will unlikely cease until Episode IX is released.