Even though F9 saw an explosive opening weekend in China, earning $136 million, it seems that audiences are hitting the brakes on the film, which earned 85% less in its second weekend. The drop could be due to the middling reviews or some controversy surrounding John Cena, one of the film’s leads. The last mainline Fast & Furious film that released in China earned a total of $390.9 million, which made it the biggest Hollywood film to ever release in the country. The newest entry is estimated to earn only $211.9 million.
Cena recently stirred up trouble on Chinese social media after referring to Taiwan as a country during a promotional interview for the film and then issued an apology to nationalist Chinese fans, which earned him negative attention from U.S. fans. The film also earned low social scores from major Chinese outlets in comparison to other popular releases this year, including a 7.5 on Maoyan and 5.5 on Douban.
It’s unclear if the film will have as troubling of a time when it hits U.S. theaters this summer on June 25, but it’s less likely that Cena’s controversy will affect domestic box office numbers. The last mainline film, Fate of the Furious, earned $226 million domestically upon its release in 2017.