Matt Damon's The Great Wall won its opening day box office race, but it didn't even come close to what critics expected the $150 million-budget film would earn in its debut weekend, according to Forbes.
Although The Great Wall opened to rather weak box office figures ($5.9 million), the Matt Damon/Tian Jing period-piece fantasy took home $224.5 million worldwide.
Matt Damon's THE GREAT WALL facing losses of over $75M after a disappointing performance at the Box Office.#BoxOffice pic.twitter.com/MRgI2tatCDSince The Great Wall is technically a Chinese/American co-production, it enjoyed a rather good box office run in China, scoring $171 million in the Asian country, and an additional $53.5 in the rest of the world.
— Popcornography (@PopCorn_Media) March 3, 2017
The United States apparently wasn't impressed with the film even though Hollywood star Matt Damon is attached to it, and even though many thought the mere mention of the "wall" in the title would attract U.S. moviegoers in the times of the Donald Trump presidency.
While The Great Wall didn't jump higher than $20 million in its debut four-day weekend, the film has already earned more than its budget. The film starring Matt Damon is basically repeating the story of Warcraft, which scored big in China but turned out to be a fiasco in the U.S.
Perhaps The Great Wall's downfall in the U.S. has something to do with the whitewashing controversy surrounding Matt Damon's casting as the lead character. And perhaps U.S. moviegoers don't want to be sponsoring Damon's efforts to steal jobs from Chinese people. Or maybe U.S. moviegoers simply don't want to pay for The Great Wall. The Chinese have already paid $171 million for it, after all.
Hollywood: We're gonna make a movie centered around the Great Wall of China, filmed in China, during the Song Dynasty...starring Matt Damon. pic.twitter.com/38QxdjzRn1The Great Wall's poor views also didn't exactly help the film with its box office run. If Chinese moviegoers had no idea what to expect from the film starring Matt Damon back when it opened in the country in December, U.S. moviegoers have had plenty of opportunities to study the film prior to its release in North America.
— Brad (@BradBeSoRad) March 1, 2017
While reviews were bashing The Great Wall for its "boring" plot and diversity advocates were denouncing Matt Damon for whitewashing, Universal Pictures didn't exactly save the film's reputation when it published a trailer for the film with absurd CGI, only to delete it hours later.
In fact, Matt Damon has been the butt of jokes of thousands of people who have seen the film, according to BuzzFeed. The 46-year-old actor has been accused of whitewashing ever since director Jing cast him in the film.
But now The Great Wall viewers are taking to social media to "thank" Matt Damon for saving the Chinese people in the film. The trend – and thus the hashtag #ThankYouMattDamon – was apparently started by comedian Jenny Yang, who attended the film's premiere.
In her tweet posted after watching the film, Yang sarcastically thanked Matt Damon for saving the Chinese people in The Great Wall. Social media users immediately picked up the trend and the #ThankYouMattDamon was soon trending on Twitter.
THANK YOU FOR ALL THAT YOU'VE DONE TO SAVE THE CHINESE PEOPLE, MATT DAMON. #THEGREATWALL pic.twitter.com/o4WlEHtAmaBut people didn't only thank Matt Damon for saving the Chinese people and China, they went way even further: even thanking the Hollywood star for teaching people how to use chopsticks, steaming and eating rice every day, and even for being every Asian mom, dad, and grandparent!
— Jenny Yang???????????? (@jennyyangtv) February 16, 2017
@jennyyangtv one time, I was having trouble decorating my house, and Matt Damon came and feng shuied it for me #thankyoumattdamon
— Teresa Wang (@tewang32) February 16, 2017
Hey Matt Damon, help us Asians to get our own checkbox! Should be easy versus saving China #ThankYouMattDamon pic.twitter.com/qLkVJyn3Gx
— Godfrey Cheng (@godfreycheng1) February 27, 2017
@jennyyangtv Not to mention #MattDamon! Incredible to see so many #Asian actors represented at #Oscars this year! #ThankYouMattDamon pic.twitter.com/8yc2juaQdvPeople may laugh at Matt Damon all they want, but shooting The Great Wall was tough for him – at least for the reason that he was wearing that man bun for six months, according to Page Six.
— Edwin Peng (@EdwinPeng88) February 27, 2017
Speaking to Us Weekly, Matt Damon revealed that makeup artists put "700 extensions" in his hair and it took 12 hours to do that man bun. Damon also admitted that the man bun didn't look attractive at all when they cut the extensions out.
"By the time they cut them out, it was like a rat's nest. I took a picture of it. I think there was stuff living in there."[Featured Image by Jordan Strauss/AP Images]