Friday, September 17, 2021

CHINESE THEATERS FILL SCREENS WITH EXTINCTION

July 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Disregarding guidance from Chinese government authorities, many multiplexes on the mainland were showing Transformers: Age of Extinction on more than 60 percent of their screens, with some reserving more than 70 percent of all screenings for it, the Los Angeles Times reported today (Tuesday), citing no sources. The result was that the movie raked in nearly as much in China as it did in the U.S. (Consulting group Artisan Gateway put the figure at $97 million; another, Entgroup, put it at $99.81 million.) In any case, it appeared to be the biggest opening for any film ever outside of North America and appears certain to overtake Avatar as the most successful film at the Chinese box office. But while the producers strategically integrated Chinese actors, plot devices, and product-placements in the film, some Chinese moviegoers were left unimpressed and even critical. The Times noted that on the social network Weibo, one viewer commented, "I went to watch [Chinese star] Han Geng. … But his screen time was even less than the Chinese milk [Yili Milk]." Another asked, "Why would a middle-aged man in the middle of the desert in Texas take out a China Construction Bank card to withdraw money from the ATM?" Still others noted that the cars shown in scenes supposedly shot Hong Kong had their steering wheels on the left instead of the right as cars in that city do. Remarkably, a domestic romcom, The Breakup Guru, performed extraordinarily well against the blockbuster, earning $24.18 million. Overall, the Chinese box office is up 22 percent from 2013, according to the Hollywood Reporter.