What does #BoycottMulan mean for the film’s box market success?

Currently, there’s been a significant increase in criticism from international human right groups concerning the ways in which police are handling confrontations between protesters and the public in Hong Kong, China.

Celebrities are quite notorious for taking to social media to speak out against police brutality, and social issues in general. A little while back, Crystal Liu Yifei, – the actress who will be starring in Disney’s live action version of Mulan, posted a message of support for the Hong Kong police force over Chinese social media. Her post then ignited a wave controversy, and attracted the attention of those in Hong Kong as well as pro-democracy sympathizers from other parts of the world, prompting a #boycottmulan campaign on twitter.

According to wikipedia, Liu’s godfather is Chen Jinfe , the Chairman of Beijing Tongchan Investment Group, so it comes as no surprise that she would be in support of the mainland’s interests.

One of Disney’s intents with the film Mulan is to attract Chinese audiences, and although some may think the actresses comments will dampen Disney’s success with China, it is important to remember that Hong Kong’s box market makes up only a small percentage of Disney’s box market worth in China.

That being said, many of those in the Weste are quite aware of what’s going on in China, support the protests, and are thus, are equally bothered by the actress’s comments. For instance, a quick look up of #boycottMulan on Tumblr’s search engine alone demonstrates that there are a handful of potential viewers in the US who’ve been put off of seeing Disney’s Live Action Mulan precisely because of the actresses comments.

I think if anything Liu’s comments has resulted in bad publicity for the film, though the full extent I think it’ll have on Mulan in terms of the film’s success in the West, is still something I remain unsure of.



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