President Donald Trump's agenda to make America great again may be moving along more slowly than his supporters would prefer, but that doesn't mean he's having no effect at all.
A new report from Salon credits Trump and his antics with propelling Chinese cinema to new heights. According to the report, the initial box office for Wolf Warrior 2, the jingoistic movie that is just like an American 1980s action flick, except the hero, Wu Jing's Leng Feng, is Chinese, and the part of the American mercenary, replacing the 80s flicks' vaguely Eastern-European terrorist villain, is played by an American, Frank Grillo. The movie has earned more than $852 million so far, with $848 million coming from China, the second-highest grossing film in a single market ever (Australians, with $1.3 million, are the next most likely to pay to see Leng Feng and his team kick the crap out of American bad guys).
But it almost didn't happen. The first Wolf Warrior earned less than $90 million at the Chinese box office, and Wolf Warrior 2 actually increased its box office take during its second weekend, defying traditional patterns. According to Salon's analysis, that increase can be tracked to Donald Trump belittling China over the situation in North Korea during Wolf Warrior's opening weekend, prompting huge ticket sales starting Monday and into the next week.
"I am very disappointed in China. Our foolish past leaders have allowed them to make hundreds of billions of dollars a year in trade," Trump tweeted on July 28th, "yet they do NOTHING for us with North Korea, just talk. We will no longer allow this to continue. China could easily solve this problem!"
Almost immediately after, Wolf Warrior 2 started raking in the box office cash.
So the next time you see someone say that Donald Trump is ineffective as a leader, in addition to his other deficiencies, you can correct them. He's moving the economic needle for sure. It just happens to be China's needle he's moving.