China has allowed for the theatrical release of Disney’s animated Encanto, but the film flopped in the Chinese box office anyway.
Disney’s Encanto — the first Hollywood film to be released in Chinese mainland theaters in 2022 — failed to make a big wave during its opening weekend, according to a report by Global Times.
The film grossed an estimated 17.53 million yuan — which amounts to a little over $2,740,000 — as of Sunday, according to the ticketing platform Maoyan. Meanwhile, the top three Chinese films were reortedly Embrace Again, Another Me, and G Storm.
Encanto had previously topped the most-anticipated list among the 11 movies that were released on Friday.
“Here’s just the artwork, for people who wanted to grab it. Created this to celebrate the opening of Encanto in China and to thank our Chinese fans. Hope fans in China enjoy the magic and color of Encanto!” the film’s director Byron Howard tweeted on Saturday to celebrate Encanto‘s debut in China.
Here’s just the artwork, for people who wanted to grab it. Created this to celebrate the opening of Encanto in China and to thank our Chinese fans. Hope fans in China enjoy the magic and color of Encanto! #Encanto #DisneyAnimation #Disney pic.twitter.com/cEt1wy8Oez
— Byron Howard (@ByronPHoward) January 8, 2022
Disney is reportedly trying to produce films that “soothe people’s hearts” during the Chinese coronavirus pandemic — similarly to its 2020 film Soul, which did well in the Chinese box office — notes the Chinese state run media outlet.
Unlike Encanto, Soul had performed very well at the box office, reportedly by relying on a good story. The film had also relied solidly on word-of-mouth among Chinese moviegoers, as there was not a lot of marketing or promotion around Soul before its release.
Soul had pulled in 376 million yuan (nearly $59 million) at the Chinese mainland box office, according to Maoyan. The film had also earned a high score of 8.7 out of 10 on the Chinese media review platform Douban.
Meanwhile, Encanto has only scored a 6.5 out of 10, with many of the Chinese audience reviews reportedly commenting that some of the plots in the film didn’t make sense.