China’s First $100M Film Pulled From Cinemas After Disastrous Opening Weekend. Per The Hollywood Reporter, Chinese fantasy epic Asura was promoted as China’s most expensive film ever made, with a production budget of over $110 million (750 million yuan). So perhaps it’s unsurprising that the film’s producers, which include Jack Ma’s Alibaba Pictures, decided to take desperate action after the movie opened to just $7.1 million over the weekend.
Late Sunday evening in Beijing, Asura‘s official social media accounts posted a simple statement saying that the film would be pulled from cinemas as of 10 p.m. local time. After landing in theaters with limited fanfare, China’s priciest picture ever would vanish from the scene entirely.
After watching this trailer, the news of this bombing is seriously such a surprise. This movie is absolutely stunning. In terms of cinematography, it holds up to any other action-fantasy film in its genre. The story about the “chosen one boy king” (all right, it’s a little tropey and tired, but it has its charm) slipping into another world to fight a battle alongside his little Groot-mascot friend (I smell toy sales!) doesn’t seem any better or worse than other coming of age adventure films.
Lest we forget about the clone versions Daenerys Targaryen and Drogo featured in the film. I’ll take it!
See the trailer for yourself. Do you think this film deserved to bomb and get pulled from theaters? Is it missing an international release? Do you think western audiences (willing to read subtitles) will eat it up? And why would Chinese film studios sink so much money into a genre their audience wasn’t interested in? There’s a lot of mystery surrounding this movie, and hopefully it manages to find the right people to give it some love.
Give Nerdbot your thoughts on this trailer and get the conversation going in the comments!