Disney's Mulan, filmed in New Zealand and China, fizzles in Chinese theatres

Disney's live-action remake of Mulan, filmed in New Zealand and China, has faltered in its China release as the global box office slowly comes back online in the Covid-19 era.

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Covid-19 means the film, directed by a Kiwi and shot partially in New Zealand, will go straight to the small screen. Source: 1 NEWS

The movie, directed by New Zealander Niki Caro, had a disappointing debut of only $34.7 million.

But, the low launch nonetheless claimed the film the No. 1 spot in the country where an estimated 91 per cent of theatres are open but limited to 50 per cent capacity.

The studio noted that its opening is around the same level as Cinderella and Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.

Globally, Mulan has earned $56.3 million to date, although that number is not representative of the total earnings.

Disney criticised for filming Mulan in region of China accused of human rights abuse

The live-action epic, which has also been embroiled in controversy over its filming location, is not playing in North American theatres.

Instead, it is available for US$29.99 rental in the US on the company’s Disney+ service. New Zealand-based subscribers can stream the movie for NZ$39.99. The streaming earnings were not made available.

Pre-Covid metrics of success and failure are difficult to apply, especially to the first films out of the gates.

And, according to Paul Dergarabedian, Comscore's senior media analyst, it might be that way for a while.

“We are not in a traditional marketplace and we are not in a traditional mode of analyses,” Dergarabedian said. “It’s going to take some time to properly assess the long-term impact of the pandemic."