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July 24, 2010

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Complaints mar film's success at box office

"AFTERSHOCK," the latest offering from China's mainland director Feng Xiaogang, is drawing big crowds since its national release on Thursday, but it has attracted criticism over product placement.

The film, centering on the catastrophic 1976 Tangshan earthquake, has reduced audiences to tears.

However, some viewers complained that the film had too many product placements with too much publicity given to wine and insurance brands, for example.

Film insiders estimate that product placement in the film was worth nearly 100 million yuan (US$14.7 million), twice as much as in Feng's comedy romance "If You Are The One."

"I should say Feng's movies seldom let people down," said Kevin Fan, an IT worker.

"It is a good movie. But if he can incorporate advertisements into the story line more naturally and smoothly, the movie will be better received."

Shanghai United Cinema Lines, the city's major cinema chain, said they had taken about 3.85 million yuan in ticket sales so far.

"The movie with a good emotional story and impressive visual effects will definitely be a box office sensation this summer," said Wu Hehu, the chain's deputy general manager.

Stellar Cinema City has sold about 170,000 yuan in tickets for "Aftershock," 60 percent of which came from IMAX screenings.

More than 1,000 people have attended the cinema's IMAX screenings.

"Most cinemagoers are attracted to the IMAX version because it can better display the devastation and its big impact on people's lives," said Zhou Qiong, a manager at the cinema.

Nationwide, "Aftershock" grossed over 34 million yuan on its first day, a record for a domestic movie, according to the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television.




 

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