‘The Force Awakens’ Not Strong In Chinese Market

While theories continue to bounce around the internet about who, exactly, Supreme Leader Snoke might be in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the realization has hit that The Force Awakens is not performing as well as people had hoped in Chinese markets.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens, of course, is the seventh in the much-lauded (and, in the case of the prequels, much derided) Star Wars series of films. It has taken the North American marketplace by storm, and the folks at Disney – and director J.J. Abrams himself, no doubt – were hopeful that the flick would perform well in the Chinese market, as it is the second largest marketplace worldwide.

'The Force Awakens' Not Strong in Chinese Market [Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images Entertainment]According to Forbes, though, this is likely not to be. While The Force Awakens continues to dominate the global marketplace as a whole, it is not doing as well as expected. Forbes expects that the film will end up as the second or third highest ranked film of all time, as far as the box office boom is concerned, and that is even as the Chinese take for the film continues to fall.

China Film Insider reports that The Force Awakens will likely walk away with $150 million or more as its box office take in China – definitely not a sum to eschew. Those sorts of numbers, at least as far as China is concerned, is impressive, but nowhere near the numbers that films like Transformers: Age of Extinction ($320 million) or Avengers: Age of Ultron ($240 million) have seen. The thing of it is, The Force Awakens is another science fiction movie to the Chinese marketplace; Star Wars, as a mythology, has commanded and captured American hearts and minds since the series first bowed in 1977.

This belief in the mythos that is Star Wars, of which The Force Awakens is now a part, has generated a regular spate of rumors and questions that have arisen as a result of the most recent film coming out. The most significant question stemming from The Force Awakens thus far is exactly who Supreme Leader Snoke is, and why he has such power over Ben Solo – also known as Kylo Ren. According to The Week, there are some who believe that Supreme Leader Snoke will be revealed as Darth Vader himself, simply due to a similar scar pattern. Some believe that loveable scoundrel Han Solo will return in some capacity in Episode VIII although he was apparently killed by Kylo Ren in The Force Awakens.

'The Force Awakens' Not Strong in Chinese Market [Photo by David McNew/Getty Images]Regardless of the questions that have cropped up in the wake of The Force Awakens, there is little question that the film will ultimately become one of the biggest movies of all time – at least, until the next film comes out in December 2017. It has become clear that Episode VIII will have incredibly high expectations attached to it, given the incredible success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

The latest news associated with The Force Awakens, though, does not have as much to do with the box office take as it does with the merchandise. Over the last few weeks, the hashtag #WheresRey has been cropping up because of the dearth of Rey in the latest round of Star Wars: The Force Awakens merchandise. It is an issue which J.J. Abrams, according to Daily Mail, finds “preposterous.”

“I will say that it seems preposterous and wrong that the main character of the movie is not well represented in what is clearly a huge piece of the Star Wars world in terms of merchandising,” he said.

Slyly remarking that Rey was “somewhat important” to the story of The Force Awakens, Abrams also seemed to imply that he really had no clue as to why Rey would be missing from the merchandise. Fans had speculated that Abrams had requested the character be underrepresented in the merchandise so as not to disclose plot details. This does not appear to have been the case, however.

[Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images Entertainment]