Hollywood needs China much more than the Communist regime needs the film industry.
That’s a lesson that Disney is relearning the hard way. After transforming Mulan into a Chinese nationalist propaganda flick, and eliminating any objectionable individualistic western content about finding who you are in favor of Confucian filial piety, working with Chinese authorities on the project, the PRC jettisoned Mulan.
Government media is barred from covering it and early box office returns are poor. Most Chinese viewers seem to be pirating Mulan.
So what went wrong?
Initially the PRC seemed happy enough to accommodate Disney.
“I had an army of Chinese advisers,” Ms. Caro, the film’s director, told the Xinhua News Agency.
“In many ways, the movie is a love letter to China,” Niki Caro, the film’s director, had told the state-run Xinhua News Agency.