Why Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Fell Flat in Chinese Theaters

Erich Schwartzel at Lithub:

Lee wanted to make Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon as a movie that was by China, for China, while the country was at this turning point. But though it was embraced around the world, it failed to meet that criterion of the holy grail production, since it was of little interest to audiences in China. There, moviegoers were watching True Lies because it was the kind of action-packed spectacular their own country’s filmmakers couldn’t produce. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which had seemed so novel in America, was old hat to Chinese moviegoers reared on kung fu.

Furthermore, while Chinese citizens were flocking to Hollywood movies, they found that the two storytelling modes could mix like oil and water. Michelle Yeoh, a new discovery in America, was a generation older than younger, hipper actors in China.

more here.