'Tiny Times' tops China's box office
Updated: 2013-07-04 09:25
BEIJING - Chinese drama "Tiny Times" knocked superhero blockbuster "Man of Steel" off the top of China's box office charts during the week ending on June 30.
After debuting last Thursday, "Tiny Times", which was inspired by author-turned-director Guo Jingming's young adult novel of the same name, raked in 273 million yuan (about 44.5 million US dollars) in the week, according to figures released by China Film News on Wednesday.
The film tells a coming-of-age story of a tight-knit circle of four girls who come from different familial backgrounds.
"Tiny Times" outshone both "Man of Steel", which took in 132.6 million yuan in the week, and "Badges of Fury", which features action star Jet Li.
The popularity of "Tiny Times" in theaters has been boosted by the discussion it has triggered on social network sites, even months before its debut.
On Sina Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, more than 49 million posts discussing the film had been written as of Wednesday.
It is also the second most-searched film after the animated family film "Monsters University" on Sina Weibo.
But not everyone has had good things to say about the film. "Tiny Times " has been criticized for its displays of luxury goods and clothes in the lives of Chinese people born in the 1980s and 1990s.
The movie has received considerably lower ratings on entertainment websites Mtime.com and Douban.com than "Man of Steel."
The drama got 3.3 and 5.0 out of 10 in Mtime.com and Douban.com respectively on the two sites, while "Man of Steel" was rated 8.0 and 6.9 respectively.
An Internet user named "Zhuan Men Luan Tu Cao" described "Tiny Times "as a fashion show in a review posted on Douban. The comment was echoed by another post by "Tao Zhi" who said the film preached money worship rather than friendship and love.
The debate surrounding the content of movie can be traced to the novel on which the drama is based.
The novel has been called a "guide to luxury goods," due to its vivid descriptions of expensive things and high-end brands, and controversy has swirled about whether the materialistic content is appropriate for impressionable young readers.
In a response to such debate, Guo said in a recent interview that he believes that movies are a "dream machine", so he played down the sense of the harshness of reality while strengthening the concept of the "power of dreams", specifically, the type of "dreaming and spirit that belongs to youth".