June 07, 2005


Despite its "marvellous sound effects" and "the grandeur of its scenery", REVENGE OF THE SITH has refused to do big business in Mainland China, the official Chinese news agency, Xinhua, cheerfully reports. There was a breathless article a few weeks ago from Xinhua about how tied into China ROTS was, but they've sobered up after seeing how badly the film has done (about US$3 million in its first week, as opposed to KUNG FU HUSTLE which made around US$7 million in its first four days) and decided that there's just too many cultural differences for Hollywood movies to do that well in China.

The problem? Hollywood movies aren't smart enough for the discerning Chinese audience.

"Moreover, the Star Wars series is, in one sense, based on fairy-tale-like legends. In China, grown-ups prefer "real" stories," they write. Meow! Is it getting catty in here?

It is one of those imponderables, however, that a market with over a billion people counts as its biggest blockbuster of all time TITANIC, with a box office gross of about US$38 million. But obviously, Hollywood needs to mature a little if it's ever going to exploit that market the way it wants to.

June 7, 2005 at 12:49 AM in News | Permalink


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And US companies in general don't seem to be aware of other cultures and their sensitivities. To wit, recall that Nike's LeBron James in the KungFu-esque basketball shoe commercial was banned in China.

As to why Sith is tanking in China, maybe it's just a poor film that succeeds in the US only based on momentum of the original trilogy and since China doesn't have a "Star Wars culture" the film doesn't really resonate at all.

Posted by: Goro | Jun 7, 2005 7:37:21 AM

...or maybe the film cuts a bit too close to the bone for some, albeit in a package that makes people miss it entirely. As for intelligence and "smart movies", I have to say Kung Fu Hustle was about the same level as Sith, I'm sorry to say.

Posted by: beverins | Jun 9, 2005 1:01:22 PM

I seem to recall ROTS making way more than 3 million its first week...wasn't it more like 46 million or something?

Posted by: @NICO | Jun 22, 2005 7:34:15 PM

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