Last Jedi fails to land a knockout in China

Stormtroopers pose at the red carpet for the Chinese premiere of Star Wars: The Last Jedi at the Shanghai Disney Resort, on Dec 20, 2017.
Stormtroopers pose at the red carpet for the Chinese premiere of Star Wars: The Last Jedi at the Shanghai Disney Resort, on Dec 20, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (Bloomberg) - Walt Disney's Star Wars: The Last Jedi brought in an estimated US$28.7 million (S$38 million) in its opening weekend in China, coming in below its two predecessors in the world's fastest-growing market.

That brings the global haul for the movie to US$1.21 billion, the company said on Sunday. That makes the film a success even if it does not reach the heights of 2015's The Force Awakens, which rang up US$2.07 billion worldwide.

Disney has been trying to build an audience for Star Wars in China, where moviegoers did not grow up with the original trilogy, and by that measure the new film fell short.

The Force Awakens brought in US$52.3 million when it opened there.

The last Star Wars movie to open in China, Rogue One, generated US$30 million in its opening.

Disney has had more success with its Marvel comic-book movies in China, where universally understood action scenes and simpler story lines tend to translate better, according to Mr James Li, co-founder of Beijing-based consulting firm Fanink Research.