Hello and welcome to this week’s movie Math, where there’s a real problem developing, I know another one, but yes, there is another problem. Now, we’ve been so focused on whether or not streaming is Pandora’s box of Hollywood these day and date releases that I think Hollywood either isn’t realizing that China is starting to take over the global movie market or they’re like, let’s just save that problem for another day. Maybe they feel that once when Hollywood gets back up on its feet, it will no longer be a problem.
But I don’t know. I think that at some point, I mean, can we ever even check the Chinese box office numbers if we wanted to? I think I think this is a problem, though, and I’ll be curious to know what you think down below. All right. So there’s also a lot of spin going on right now. Hollywood’s eager for any good headlines. And so I think that since China is supplying some, that’s also giving some forgiveness from Hollywood as well.
But the bottom line is that the pandemic has made China the moviegoing capital of the world again. Supposedly a lot of shady stuff happens over there across the board, not just in the entertainment industry. And so don’t underestimate the aggressiveness of China to make this permanent, because the Chinese government would love to claim that they’re the new Hollywood. I mean, we thought we were just going to share it. That’s what Hollywood thought Hollywood was like. Oh, it’ll be America and China is friends.
And China is like me. I’d like to have it all to myself and so. Oh, and Hollywood is so reliant on the Chinese box office, even in normal times for money and headlines that again, they’re either just letting them do it or letting China have their day in the sun before hopefully the U.S. box office comes roaring back to life itself. Although, again, as I said at the beginning, did we break the U.S. box office with streaming options and training audiences to watch movies at home?
That remains to be seen. So, yes, six of the top 10 movies of the year to date are from China, where almost all movie theaters are open, although running at only 50 percent, with everyone required to wear masks and register via an app for contract contact tracing if necessary. Also, China has a lot more. Asia in general has a lot more experience with these kinds of viruses. Mask wearing has been pretty common over there.
I mean, they certainly went through it themselves a couple of months before the rest of the world. So maybe it’s real. Nobody knows what’s going on over there, you know, including what a pandemic, you know, came up. So it’s tricky. But, you know, this is very aggressive in the entertainment business. But it does go to a show supposedly, again, just put an asterisk next to all the stuff from China, because we don’t we can’t verify any of their information.
But it shows the potential of the Chinese box office because look how well it’s doing, only at 50 percent. You know, it’s only running up and running at 50 percent. Now, remember, China’s box office is tightly controlled and influenced by the government they control. What kind of movies are made? If you don’t pay your taxes, you can disappear for a long time and they seize your assets. It’s crazy stuff over there. And they keep not only are they keep a very tight leash on their own entertainment industry, but they also do on Hollywood with blackout periods where only local films can play.
And I think that this is going to even expand. And that might be when Hollywood finally is like, whoa, because China is so enjoying dominating the global box office headlines that it was reported earlier this month in Variety that Disney’s Eternals and Share and Janky. And remember, Disney is the most friendly studio with China that they might not get Chinese release dates at all. That would be incredible. And I wonder what Disney’s response would be in that situation.
They have several theme parks they have in Asia. Three, they just built their newest one in Shanghai. They have a lot of money invested in China. Now, who knows with the official reason China will come up with will be as to why these movies will get Chinese release dates. But unofficially, I would wager that maybe China doesn’t want Hollywood to take over for local films by Hollywood trying to make their own Chinese films. I think China might be like, that’s our market.
You can’t come in here and try and do it yourself, which would be interesting because that’s the incentive for Disney to make these films to some degree, because they want to get there like, oh, see how well our movies are doing now. Imagine how well they would do if they were catering directly to that audience, although it didn’t work out that way. I would move on to what we’re going to mention that in a minute. Now, I also want to point out that Chloe Zhao, who of course, is the director of the Eternals, some of her critical comments against China, have angered the Chinese government and they already downplayed Nomad Lands release, which might be why that film may not get a release in China.
And who knows if the people of China will be even upset if they don’t get these movies because they didn’t care for Mulan and they did not respond positively to the Shanghai trailer. They are, in fact, quite negative about it. But it’s impossible to know if those negative comments are legit because they could just be coming from the Chinese government. I mean, they’re anonymous commenters online. Who knows where they come from. So, again, giant Asterix.
Now, also, why is Hollywood so protective of the Chinese box office when they only get 25 percent of that revenue? Well, twenty-five percent of these huge numbers is nothing to sneeze at. And then also these headlines are very valuable headlines like this because Universal was able to tout the biggest global debut yet for a pandemic film. But if you read the small print for this headline, that money is almost exclusively from China, where the Fast and Furious franchise is beloved, does very well there historically.
So while many in the industry in the trades were quick to point to this headline and say, look, the box office is coming back to life, Warner Brothers, you’re so dumb for that, for committing the whole year today and date releases on HBO, Max. Well, that’s jumping the gun, that criticism because we still don’t know what’s going on with the global box office. This is just more evidence the Chinese box office has come back to life.
Also, I think it’s grown. They were rapidly expanding the number of movie theaters in China right before the pandemic, particularly outside of major cities, to tap into the more rural parts of China because they’ve just had such a huge population. But that might also be responsible for this, you know, sudden growth in the Chinese box office because remember, Godzilla versus Kong got off to a great start globally as well. And everyone was saying. The global box office had returned then, but then it got sucker-punched by the pandemic as well, and things slowed down significantly.
We don’t know what’s going on in other countries. France and the UK and many European movie theaters just opened. And I think some of you still don’t have your movie theaters open. So this is really too early to make any kind of call on. What if Nine’s box office numbers are going to look like, although I’m very happy it’s going to do well in China, where, again, it’s historically done quite well. So at least that’s that is legitimately back to normal.
Speaking of getting sucker-punched, Afnan got hit hard with the 33 percent Rotten Tomatoes score fast, and Furious hasn’t had an art score that low or even rotten, for that matter, for over a decade. That’s shocking. And a five-point-six audience score on IMDB. And also some of you messaged me that it leaked a very high-quality copy is already leaked online for pirating. So what happened? What happened? What a disaster. So what happened was that Universal allowed the trades to release their reviews, just the trades because of the Chinese launch.
And they told all other reviewers that we would have to wait until June 16th to review the film, to release our reviews closer to the film’s domestic release of June 25th. In fact, it’s not going to hit most countries until mid-June. I think the next release date is June 17th. And they also they’ve spaced out the screenings because of the pandemic. So also, by the way, speaking of release dates, F nine was supposed to open Memorial Day weekend stateside.
But as you might recall, it moved so cruelly and a quiet place to swooped in there and took the weekend instead. So F nine was supposed to be more of a global release instead of this ridiculous month. Although in the past, you know, like a Jurassic World fallen kingdom because of the World Cup, that year had about a month between its domestic and overseas release and it still made a billion dollars. So movies can do it. But it’s tough.
It’s tough, I think, with online social media to have a movie’s release date so far apart across the globe. It just makes the movie seem old, I think. But anyway, as I said, it hits most countries now. It’s only in a handful of countries like China, Russia, that’s about it, and a couple of other ones. But it’s really not going to start hitting other countries until mid-June. So this early Chinese release date has, I think, become a problem for it.
Also, there’ll be no more new exciting box office headlines until mid-June unless it just keeps making a ton of movies in China, which it could. The universal solution when it comes to the bad reviews is to move the embargo date actually up to this Tuesday. But that’s a month out. I guess that’s good because maybe everyone will forget about the bad reviews at below our score holds. I mean, maybe they don’t get saved. Maybe the score will go up.
Thirty-three is already pretty low, though. And the trades, you know, do you see trades? So you can’t say it’s like it’s a cultural thing. You know, one country likes it. Another might, you know, not. So I think that kind of gives an indication as to where the reviews might head. So we’ll see what happens on Tuesday when the embargo lifts everywhere. And what do you think that because it’s a month out, do you think that maybe the movie can get around bad reviews?
Again, Fast and Furious is not had this problem for over a decade because I think you might be inclined to think that Fast and Furious is always battled bad reviews, but it’s always been, I think, acknowledged as a pure popcorn film that does very well in that regard. I’ve enjoyed the movies. I’m still I’m going to wait, by the way, to review the film until mid-June. Just so you know, I decided not to change my RSVP for a screening.
I was going to go tomorrow night so I can make the embargo if it was in an IMAX or Dolby screening. But it’s not. So I’m like, I’m not going to rush to see the movie on mine.