Most Expensive Film in China Gets Pulled Out After First Screening

By Faith Magbanua, July 18, 2018 00:07 AM

Asura(Screenshot)

 

The overly hyped Chinese epic fantasy film "Asura" has been pulled from cinemas after what seems to be a disastrous opening weekend.

With a production budget reported at 750m yuan (£85m), Asura - flooded with its complex special effects, big-name stars and an enormous crew - was hailed as China's most expensive film ever made. However, its opening weekend takings received a sum of 49m yuan (£5.5m), and it was immediately withdrawn from cinemas.

According to the film's official Weibo account, they announced the news on Sunday, July 15, 2018, with producers offering "deepest apologies to viewers who did not get a chance to watch the film, as well as to all the Chinese and international participants who were involved in its production over the past six years".

The film, named after the triple-headed demigod of Buddhist mythology, Asura stars 18-year-old heartthrob Wu Lei as a shepherd who turns out to be the reincarnation of one of the heads of a warrior king - also called Asura - aiming to invade heaven. Tony Leung Ka-fai and Carina Lau Kar-ling play the other two heads.

In an article published before the film's release, Yang Hongtao, chairman of Ningxia Film Group and one of the film's major backers, expressed confidence in Asura, saying: "It's a very imaginative movie. We wanted the film to raise confidence in our own culture and train more domestic talent."

The film appeared to have won the publicity battle, with reports saying Asura had generated around 390m mentions on Weibo.

However, audiences have failed to respond, with a low 3.1 out of 10 rating on Chinese review site Douban, and a resounding box-office defeat by the 1930s-set swordsman drama "Hidden Man".

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Asura's producers are also suggesting that organized trolling has been one of the factors why the film received such negative backlash. 

On the other hand, a social media post claimed an aggressive attack by a "water army" - a paid team of ghostwriters, aiming to artificially inflate poor ratings - damaged the film's chances.

This may not be the last of Asura, however. A representative of Zhenjian Film, another of the film's backers, told the Sina News  that "this decision was made not only because of the bad box-office. We plan to make some changes to the film and release it again."

 

Related Article

Must Read

comments powered by Disqus

More from CCD

After Notre Dame Cathedral Fire: Could Europe Turn This Disaster into Blessing?

A reflection on whether the fire on Notre Dame Cathedral is a blessing.

Why Telling Stories of "Misery" in Chinese Church Is Becoming Trend ?

An observation of a current trick to gain money by telling Christians' stories of misery.

Nanjing Mochou Lu Church Holds Seminar about Qingming Festival

On March 13, 2019, Nanjing Mochou Road Christian Church held a seminar entitled, "Thinking about the customs and meanings of the Qingming Festival".

Empress Dowager Cixi's "Imperial Bible" Exhibited in Taiwan

Taiwanese media reported that the precious Imperial Version with a history of 125 years, given to the Empress Dowager Cixi for her 60th birthday, was exhibited in Donghai University.

Y. C. James Yen and His Rural Construction Movement

A father figure whose work was Chinese rural construction in the last century.

Christian Blind Art Troupe Performs in Zhangzhou, Fujian

The Art Group “The Sound of Heavenly Love”" performed in Zhangzhou, Fujian province.

Changsha Foreign Students' Fellowship Celebrates 14th Anniversary

Changsha North City Church International Student Fellowship Celebrate Their 14th anniversary

Yunnan Multiethnic Christian Church Tells Its History, Status Quo

Editor's Notes: On November 8, 2017, a 100-year celebration was held at the Manyun Christian Church in Jinghong City, Xishuangbanna, Yunnan Province. For commemorating the 100th anniversary of the introduction of the Gospel for this locality. A few days ago, the Manyun Christian Church published an article about the history and status quo of the church.

Chinese Box Office Revenue for 2018 Slowed in Growth

How did the Chinese box office fared last year?

Hainan Airlines introduces New Flights to Los Angeles

A new direct flight is added to Hainan Airlines' destinations.