‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ pulled from cinemas in China

The force is not strong with cinema-goers there

Star Wars: The Last Jedi has been pulled from cinemas in China.

The latest instalment in the franchise was released in the UK last month (December 14), and has since brought in over $1 billion (£721.7 million) worldwide.

However, it has been less popular in China, where it took $28.7 million (£20.7m) when it opened on January 5, with that figure dropping to $2.4 million (£1.7m) just one week later. Reports suggest its total income could be less than $50 million (£36m) in the country.

In comparison, The Force Awakens raked in $124 million (£89.5m) in 2016, while Rogue One: A Star Wars Story gained $69 million (£49.8m) last year.

Jimmy Wu, chairman of Chinese cinema chain Lumiere Pavilions told The Hollywood Reporter: “It’s performed much worse than we could have expected. Star Wars has no legacy here. It will require something fresh to win back the Chinese audience.”

James Li, co-founder of Beijing market research company Fanink, suggested the franchise’s rich history provided a stumbling block for new viewers. “Because of the complex characters and themes, the prequels, and all of the multi-generational layers that are part of the culture, or cult, of Star Wars, it’s been hard for young Chinese film-goers to get into the franchise.”

Meanwhile, Star Wars cast members have reacted to a 46-minute cut of The Last Jedi that erased all female characters from the film.

After news of the upload broke online, film critic Priscilla Page posted a screenshot of an article about the edit before roundly mocking its content. Director Rian Johnson and actors Mark Hamill and John Boyega also chimed in on the edit.