It's all about making a spectacle

Updated: 2014-07-03 07:14

By Raymond Zhou (China Daily)

  Comments() Print Mail Large Medium  Small 分享按钮 0

It's all about making a spectacle

The latest installment of the Transformers series features a whole new human cast, including Mark Wahlberg. Photo provided to China Daily

It's all about making a spectacle
 Li Bingbing's dresses at "Transformer 4' premieres
It's all about making a spectacle
 Transformers 4 breaks records in China
While Chinese film companies moved the schedules of their new releases to avoid a head-on collision with the Hollywood juggernaut, Enlight Pictures decided to tackle the beast with a screwball comedy. It put The Breakup Guru, a directorial debut by actor Deng Chao, in the same opening slot.

Everyone said this would be suicidal, but surprise, surprise, it returned 150 million yuan during its first weekend, a very respectable performance for this genre.

Wang Changtian, CEO of Enlight Media, explains that people had underestimated the power of the smaller cities where moviegoers have a special affinity for this kind of low-brow comedy. The high growth of new screens in recent years is concentrated in this market segment.

Coincidentally, this movie was attacked by a cultural authority who went to a preview. He says it is so tasteless and low-brow it should not qualify as a comedy.

Come to think of it, the best defense against a Hollywood blitz is not a quality film made in China, but a low-brow comedy that appeals to the basest of your laugh instincts. If you expand the vista to the past year or two, it is quite clear that the high growth of China's film market is correlated to the lowering of quality.

Not only is art-house fare relegated to the peripheral, but even quality drama helmed by A-list directors, such as Zhang Yimou's Coming Home that failed to reach 300 million yuan at the box office, is not enough to provide a semblance of counterweight for the barrage of trash hurled our way.

If you want to make a great drama film with no effects and no slapstick, wait a few years, say, 10 years, as I would often suggest to those who consult me.

Related: Love it or hate it, Transformers will have you transfixed