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.
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
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.
“有一些中国的影评人认为，电影虽然不错，但是有些情节还是落入了俗套。我完全不这么认为，因为野蛮强拆对于其他国家的观众来说，的确是一件超乎他们想象力的事情，也就是外星球和中国才可能发生。这是一部伟大的电影。对于这样一部电影，在3D和IMAX的情况下，我给出满分十分。”网友总结《阿凡达》3小时必看如厕宝典(双语)揭秘《阿凡达》纳美人外星语言诞生之谜十大理由凭啥非看《阿凡达》不可？！《阿凡达》主题歌I See You MV中英文歌词翻译