John Cena made a big mistake when he addressed Taiwan as a country. That might have cost the Fast 9 movie dearly in that highly lucrative market.
Cena meant no harm in referring to Taiwan as a country. He accidentally found himself in the middle of a global situation, issuing an apology to China in their native language. Plenty of people grilled Cena for bowing to China over that one.
The Fast 9 movie opened strong enough in China, but the second weekend was an absolute bust. Many are contributing the slump to Cena’s comments. Also, the reviews have been absolutely atrocious for the film. It is unknown whether that Cena bias played a part in those critical opinions.
Fast 9’s box office in China fell 85% from its opening weekend number of $136 million. That was quite a drop for the franchise. The Hollywood Reporter wrote on the subject:
“[A]fter two laps, the Vin Diesel/John Cena action flick has totaled $185.3 million. That’s slightly ahead of where franchise spinoff Hobbs & Shaw was sitting at a similar point in its China run, but far weaker than the preceding franchise mainstays Furious 7 and The Fate of the Furious, which topped out at $390.9 million in 2015 and $392.8 million in 2017, respectively.”
John Cena could stand to make a ton of money from Chinese fans. That might have been ruined after his comment about Taiwan. He released an apology, but that might not have been good enough. Only time will tell if John Cena can truly repair his damaged reputation with the Chinese people, and their almighty government.
What’s your take on this situation? Did China cancel John Cena? Sound off in the comments!