For years, Hollywood has been trying to reach Chinese audiences, but has yet to find a winning formula. The remake of Mulan, which cost $200 million, is projected to make only $41 million over the entirety of its monthlong China box-office run.
As U.S.-China tensions ratchet up, is there a future for movies that try to cross cultural divides and bring ordinary people together? Does politics play a role when Chinese viewers reject art from America? NüVoices chair Joanna Chiu turns to Rebecca Davis, a reporter covering China’s entertainment industry, to provide much-needed context and insights.
Guest: Rebecca Davis is Variety’s China bureau chief, establishing the magazine’s first permanent outpost in the country in 2018. Davis covers all aspects of China’s entertainment industry, and has a special interest in the intersection between culture and politics in authoritarian systems. Fluent in Mandarin and French, she has a decade of experience in China, including stints at Agence France-Presse, the New York Times, and Le Monde.
- Chinese audience reviews of Mulan on Douban
- SupChina: Why Chinese viewers hate Disney’s ‘Mulan’
- Variety: China box office: ‘Mulan’ is no hero with $23 million debut
This podcast was edited and produced by Jason MacRonald.
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READ MORE: “Review: Mulan reinforces Han ethnonationalism and the patriarchy”