Tuesday Tunes

Tuesday Tunes #27: Ex-Boyfriends Beat Star Wars

Oh hey, did you hear?  Star Wars: The Last Jedi is one big giant flop in the Chinese market.  Marking Disney’s biggest misfire in Chinese theatres since The Lone Ranger, all but 10-percent of cinema screens in China are pulling The Last Jedi leaving us to ask:  Why?  The answer may surprise you, but it directly relates to this week’s Tuesday Tunes!

Ex-Boyfriends Beat Star Wars

Before we get into that “why”, first let’s drop a little background.  China actually levies a limitation on the number of foreign films that can be shown throughout the country each year.  The Chinese movie-goer market can be so lucrative, in fact, filmmakers work hard to cater their films to appeal to the Chinese market.  This includes setting parts of the film in China, as well as sneaking A-list Chinese stars as cameos in the film.

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Fan Bingbing, China’s sweetheart, cast as Blink in X-Men: Days of Future Past.  The joke was made that if you blinked you would miss her American debut, her part was that small.

So, with all the shock surrounding its flop in China, what actually happened to The Last Jedi?  (Is it about the Porgs?)  Well, first off, there’s what cultural commentator Luo Beibei calls “aesthetic isolation”.  Basically, we’re all surfing the same ‘net, but in all actuality, we are living in entirely separate worlds.

What’s more, the currently surging moviegoer market in China is actually turning out to be a lot of young women from the country.  Young women who have made it quite clear that they don’t care much about lightsabers and space battles.  Sorry, Star Wars–the generational and cultural gap is just too wide in China.

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Daisy Ridley and Mark Hamill at the Chinese premiere of The Last Jedi.

Hollywood just isn’t quite up to par with Chinese filmgoers.  With a measly $28.7 million dollar opening, The Last Jedi was firmly slaughtered by a low-budget Chinese romantic comedy that, while it only earned a 5.7/10 on Douban (basically the Chinese IMDB) (bad reviews commenting its sexism and inappropriate jokes), Ex-Files 3:  The Return of the Exes still raked in a U.S. $86.7 million that weekend.

Ex-Files 3 is about two couples breaking up and the men’s decision to re-live the bachelor life, only to have their ex-girlfriends reappear in their lives.  The final installment in a three-film franchise, positive reviewers commented on how the film’s close-to-home themes about break-ups and reunions resonated with them–often to tears.

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Thus, it’s no surprise that music from the film tops the Shazam charts currently.  Titled “Decent”  by Yu Wen Wen, the song follows the falling out between one of the lead couples in the film.

The music video itself actually acts as a sort of a side episode of Ex-Files 3.  Or is it a recap of the film itself?  Honestly, I’m not sure.  But, if it is, it certainly makes Ex-Files 3 appear as more a drama rather than a comedy, tracking through this couple’s woes post-break-up.

So, what do you think?  Do you think Ex-Files 3 is worth the watch?

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