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Why ‘The Farewell’ Flopped In China

22 January 2020


Why ‘The Farewell’ Flopped In China

The Farewell has flopped in China with a dismal $261,000 opening weekend gross, and a cumulative of $580,000 so far, once again proving the difficulty of creating content that resonates equally on both sides of the Pacific — even when a story is set in China, features Chinese talent, and unfolds primarily in Mandarin.

Although the film was distributed directly by Maoyan, one of China’s two top online ticketing platforms, the critical darling made a paltry $78,000 on opening day Jan. 11, 2020, accounting for just 1% of the country’s total screenings. Shows were on average only 0.5% occupied, the firm’s own data showed. And opening day was its best day. Percentages of daily total screenings dropped even further since. As it entered its second weekend The Farewell had dropped to a dismal 25th at the box office. In another week, it will be utterly swallowed by a swarm of big local blockbusters coming out for Chinese New Year.

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Photo Credit: A24