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Daily Drip

Homegrown “Kung Fu Mulan” is Even Bigger China Box Office Flop than Disney Version

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With China’s eight day-long October National Day holiday coming to an end, it has created winners and losers in the country’s recovering film market, which has saw a box office take of 3.95 billion RMB (around 581 million USD) over the course of the past week.

Winners include patriotic comedy My People, My Homeland, Leap and animated feature film Jiang Ziya: Legend of Deification. Losers feature Mulan. No, not that one, but another interpretation of the female warrior’s tale: Kung Fu Mulan

The homegrown animation flick was hoping to outdo Disney’s controversial live-action Mulan and it certainly did that — but unfortunately for its creators it was in the bad review stakes. If you thought the reception to Disney’s take was negative, at least it limped on in cinemas for longer than a week. After a wave of brutal reviews, Kung Fu Mulan was pulled from theaters in China just three days after it was released.

Related: 

“Mulan” Through the Ages: Riots, Rebellions, and Kung Fu Retellings

On Chinese rating site Douban, the 3D animated film sits with a woeful score of 3.2, much lower than the 4.9 rating that Disney’s Mulan has received. Critics’ issues with the film lie in the poorly-constructed plot, oddly animated characters and terrible script.

The most upvoted comment on Douban reads, “Liu Yifei’s Mulan is better.”  

A poster for Kung Fu Mulan had seemingly addressed the Disney adaptation with the tagline “Real China, Real Mulan.” Ultimately however, the film was also a real box office flop.

Siyuan Meng
    Born and raised in Shaoxing, Siyuan lived in New York and Los Angeles prior to Shanghai. If she is not at work, she is probably at an art museum, a gym, a Mom-and-Pop restaurant or a park. She likes reading books or playing the piano on rainy days. She thinks she takes great photos.