Science fiction movie Avatar set China's box office on fire and sparked heated debate among local filmmakers and critics, as it premiered amid the heaviest snowfall in half a century in various parts of the country.


The 3-D movie, directed by James Cameron, the man behind top-grossing film Titanic, raked in about 35 million yuan ($5 million) on its Monday debut to set a record for a weekday opening in China, Twentieth Century Fox said. Insiders said its box office revenue was more than 100 million yuan by Thursday.


On Wednesday morning, audiences braved the coldest winter in 59 years to form lines an hour before the China National Film Museum, one of three Beijing theaters offering IMAX 3-D technology films, made the screening.

周三早上,观众们不顾59年来最寒冷的冬天,提早一个小时就来到中国国家电影博物馆门口排队,这是北京三家有IMAX 3D播映技术的影院之一。购票长龙令人称奇。

A number of netizens even compared the ordeal of buying a ticket for Avatar to getting hold of a train ticket during Spring Festival, the holiday season when migrant workers flood home for reunions.


For Chinese director Lu Chuan, Avatar also meant "a complete defeat" for all Chinese filmmakers.


Lu wrote on his blog of the spiritual splendor of the film's storyline, beyond its visual spectacle. "Avatar made me realize that what we lack is not technology - we can learn technology," he wrote.

"I suddenly realized how far away our films are from simple beauty, crystal-clear purity and passionate dreams. We Chinese filmmakers should be ashamed of being far from sincerity and being embroiled in a carnival of twisted, dim and absurd vulgarity."


Similarly, the film reminded popular Chinese writer Han Han of the social issue of violent eviction in China.

His satirical blog compared the aliens' fate in the film with the suffering of Chinese people when unscrupulous real estate developers demolish their houses in the drive for profit.

"Some local film critics think the film has a corny storyline that's because forceful eviction is unimaginable for audiences in other countries as they think that it can only happen on alien planets or China," Han wrote, giving the "great film" a full score of 10 if seen in IMAX 3-D.


《阿凡达》主题歌I See You MV中英文歌词翻译