The film， which critics are calling China‘s ’Dallas Buyers Club，‘ earned nearly $50 million from pre-release previews and is being hailed as a creative breakthrough for the film industry。
Exactly 10 years after it was first announced， the Warcraft film burst into European cinemas this week， to be met with the kind of concerted critical savaging that put the depredations of its Burning Legion to shame。 But none of that may matter。 This is Hollywood， after all， and despite poor scores from critics， it‘s entirely possible that Warcraft may go on to be a hit， thanks in part to its global appeal。
China‘s latest blockbuster， Dying to Survive， pulled off a rare feat of box-office magic this week： it managed to earn $50 million before it even opened。
The success of Kung Fu Panda 3 is reaffirming the value of Hollywood’s pursuit of ticket sales in China， where Hollywood films are increasingly using Chinese plot lines and characters to appeal to the Chinese market。
In China， the world‘s fastest-growing film economy and home to millions of certifiable Warcraft addicts， anticipation for Jones’s film is running enormously high。 It‘s launching in a five-day window after Chinese students finish their exams， and box office pundits estimate that it could open with anywhere from $100M to $150M during that time period。
不如回过头来看看前段时间热门的功夫熊猫。极端的观点无非两种。鄙视之抵制之者有，捧上天欣喜欣慰者也不在少数。甚至听说有引发为什么中国不能拍出功夫熊猫的感慨。这样的感慨虽然有健康的关于创作力和教育的讨论，但终究还是建立在对影片对中国文化“准确地把握”上。其实，两种态度都反映了一种相同的心理状态--对文化的不自信。好莱坞大片用中国熊猫和对中国文化的结合运用是让某些人如或钦点的原因。我们终于被承认了，我们成了世界的一分子。而其实功夫熊猫是再典型不过的好莱坞片，从underdog hero story到故事的叙述方式。其中中国文化只不过皮毛，早已进入西方的知识领域。
功夫熊猫3背后的故事，火到国外。A social drama tinged with black comedy， Dying to Survive premiered to rave reviews at the Shanghai International Film Festival in late June。 It then hit the road on a promotional tour holding limited sneak-peek screenings in select cities across the country。
On its opening day， the film brought in more than $16 million， and by the end of its second week， box office sales had climbed to more than $101 million。 Chinese audiences flocked to the cinema on New Year’s day， when more than $100 million worth of tickets were sold。
Significantly， about a third of Warcraft‘s subscribers are in China； it’s doubtful there would even be a Warcraft movie without them。 The film is partly Chinese-funded - Legendary Entertainment， a production partner on the film， was acquired by the Chinese group Dalian Wanda this year - and millions of advance tickets have already been booked for the film‘s opening weekend， which falls on June 8， the holiday on which the Duanwu or Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated。
功夫熊猫3背后的故事，火到国外。值得注意的是，大约1/3《魔兽》订户来自中国；如果没有中国玩家，甚 至可能都不会有《魔兽》电影。影片是由中国部分赞助的，因为制片合伙人传奇影业今年已由中国大连万达集团收购；该影片开场周末的几百万张预售票已被抢购一 空，影片将于6月8日——也就是端午节假期——进行首映。
Paul Dergarabedian， a Senior Media Analyst with ComScore， said， “A lot of studios and other entities involved in the entertainment business are trying to align themselves with China， with either Chinese companies， with strategic partnerships or opening studios in China。 And so it’s this multi-tiered strategy I think where everyone’s trying to scramble， and trying to figure out how best to partner with China because it’s so important as a movie market。”
China also has a distinctly special relationship with Warcraft， a game that had a transformative effect when it entered the country‘s online arena。
With each stop， enthusiasm swelled， and the film soon became China‘s most widely discussed， critically acclaimed movie in years， scoring a 9.7/10 rating on ticketing service Maoyan。
The newest buzz out of the Chinese film world is Red Cliff, a famous battle story out of The Three Kingdoms.
China is the second largest movie market in the world， and is expected to over take the U.S。 as the biggest movie market within a year。 The box office in China last year totaled $6.68 billion， representing a 48.7 percent rise year-on-year in ticket sales。
It was the first highly converged media experience。 People were able to form real friendships， and have shared experiences and shared failures， with real online communities of real people。 It quite literally changed the game。 Everyone had to know what they were doing， and had to be skilled at what they were doing。 People had to form communities of 60 or more that would be online at any given time。
The general Chinese verdict seems to be "it's entertainment", also some of the entertaining attempts are so caricaturistic, borderlining absurdity. Amid the controversy and critiques, the film sells, amassing the top box-office receipt in China. Nowadays, China takes on a very American rule - controversy sells.
The producers cleverly responded by escalating the scale of the previews， and the film began earning millions in prerelease revenue。 They then moved its release date forward a full day to Thursday， citing “popular demand” — which only spurred more online excitement and discussion。
But sorry Chinese, I'm not sure your complaints are relevant. This picture, from the clips I've seen, isn't filmed with you as the key audiences, rather, it has the Western viewers in mind. Outside of the fact that John Woo has never been truly outstanding besides staging scenes and working the camera angles (see Mission: Impossible II), if you view the film from an angle of someone whose knowledge of The Three Kingdoms as heard passingly at best, you won't see all the absurdity and controversy. All you see are giant battling fields - reminiscent of Rome Army nevertheless, witty humorous retorts - if somewhat modern - between generals and warlords, caring and vulnerability, and love scenes - how can a Hollywood movie be complete without one? Look, it all makes perfect sense. It's just those of you who are too versed in the story and characters that are nitpicking.
Familiar plot lines and characters are one reason for the success， according to 18-year-old Yifan Li。 “As a Chinese it feels more familiar， I feel I can see a lot of elements that are very close to me，” he said。
Warcraft also drove economic opportunities。 The phenomenon of gold farming， in which players acquire in-game currencies or items to trade for real-world money， began to take off in China in the early 2000s。 It snowballed in the subsequent decade。
Think of the last blockbuster, dreamwork's Kung Fu Panda. The sentiments were divided along the lines of resisting: how can Hollywood produce such crap about our beloved Panda? And alternatively, proudly embracing: it's really wonderful Hollywood can nail the Chinese cultural down so precisely in the film, with a by-line of why can't we make it? Although the latter thought makes very good point about education and creativity, the two views actually share the same psyche - that of lack of confidence. The glee over Hollywood's major production featuring Chinese stories and wits underlines the fact that most Chinese are still seeking being recognized and respected by the Western culture, despite the fact that Chinese cultural that's embodied in the film is actually quite shallow, nor is it ground-shattering. The film is actually very much hollywood, both in value - the underdog hero story, and production. We are not part of the world props up some of unduly praises of the film.
As of Thursday night， Dying to Survive had already earned $48.6 million — and it wasn‘t even supposed to have been released yet。 Maoyan’s box-office analysts expect the film to add as much as $100 million over the weekend， before ultimately earning upwards of $420 million。
Back to Red Cliff, why doesn't a Chinese made film focus more on Chinese audiences then? You can just look at the numbers. Kung Fu Panda has earned $19.29 million in China between its June 21 opening and July 6, making it a box-office smash by Chinese standards. Comparatively, it earned more than $350 world wide. So there is little wonder Red Cliff shifts its market focus elsewhere.
Dreamworks produced two versions for the Chinese audience； one with dubbed vocals and another altered animation to more closely match the Chinese language version。 In the United States， seven movie theaters are showing the film in both Mandarin and English。
In 2008， according to figures from the China Internet Centre， some £1.2bn of online currencies were traded in China。 In 2011， a gigantic theme park called Joyland opened in China‘s southern province of Jiangsu， offering 600，000 square metres of rollercoasters and log-flume rides that cost some £20m to construct。
China has proved it can produce quite fine art films. It is no stranger in the international film festival circuit. China can produce some entertainment "big picture" also, when it really put money into it. What's mostly lacking is the in-between and blending of the two. Both the amount and variety are far more to be desired. It is on this ground that we can come to understand the paradox of Red Cliff, both of under criticism and hugely successful commercially - because good films are too few, and far in between.
So what‘s all the fuss about？
Kung Fu Panda 3’s worldwide release was also timed just before the Chinese new year when movie ticket sales soar in China。
Such an affection， in the world‘s fastest growing cinema market， is likely to be a deciding factor in fulfilling Duncan Jones’s aspirations for a trilogy。
Produced by Chinese hitmaker Ning Hao， Dying to Survive tells the story of a shady health supplements supplier， played by comedy favorite Xu Zheng （Lost in Thailand）， who smuggles unapproved drugs from India to sell to leukemia patients who can‘t afford the prohibitively expensive official medication offered by Chinese hospitals。 Initially inspired by financial interest， the smuggler’s motives evolve as he realizes how desperately his customers need help。
Even without the Chinese elements， high school student Jiaxuan Zhao said he would still be a fan of the film。 “For me，” Jiaxuan said， “I still think it would work if it were something else。 I still would love the movie without the Chinese elements。”
The film is based on the real-life story of Lu Yong， a textile trader who was diagnosed with leukemia and spent over $80，000 on official medication before turning to smuggling a vastly cheaper generic alternative from India。 He went on to save more than 1，000 lives by bringing the drug into China for other patients， before he was arrested and charged in 2014 with selling fake drugs。
Kung Fu Panda 3 was Dreamworks Animation’s first co-production with it’s Chinese partner， Shanghai’s Oriental Dreamworks。 The co-production meant the film counted as a locally produced movie， and allowed it to get around import restrictions， such as a limited 30-day run time。
Hundreds of leukemia survivors Lu had helped then petitioned for his release， and he was ultimately freed without penalty by a judge who praised Lu for the way he had never personally profited from the drug sales。 After news of Lu‘s saga spread， many in the local and international media began comparing him to the hero of Dallas Buyers Club， the 2013 Matthew McConaughey Oscar winner about a Texas man who sold unregulated AIDS drugs to help fellow HIV sufferers in the 1980s。
Kung Fu Panda 3 was also allowed to show in cinemas during the Chinese New Year holiday， when most foreign films are not allowed to screen in China。
Critics have hailed Dying to Survive as a breakthrough for the Chinese film industry — a rare work of stirring social significance from a film scene typically blocked by censorship from addressing topics related to China‘s real-life problems。 Several preview screenings have ended in standing ovations 。
Several other Hollywood studios have partnered up with Chinese production houses， and last year the Chinese conglomerate Wanda group bought a majority stake in Legendary Entertainment， promising further collaborations。
“I think what we may see more of is where we have China titles， that were perhaps massive in China but didn’t do as well in North America， because we’re seeing now how American movies are tailored for the Chinese market， what I think we’re going to start seeing is Chinese movies tailored for the American market， said Dergarabedian。“
Later this year， The Great Wall will feature American Matt Damon and Hong Kong’s Andy Lau as the main actors。 It will also have a Chinese director overseeing his first English-language film。