The Great Wall, China’s first effort at a western-style celebrity blockbuster, starring actor Matt Damon, scored a box office success in its first weekend at home, making Rmb460m ($66m) since Friday.
由马特•达蒙(Matt Damon)主演的中国首部西方风格明星大片《长城》(The Great Wall)于上周五在国内上映，首周末即取得票房成功，周五至周末已拿下4.6亿元人民币(合6600万美元)。
The figure, announced on Monday by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, represented nearly half the film’s $150m budget and proved that, despite some controversy over having a Hollywood star in the lead role in a Chinese film, it was a winner with domestic audiences.
Huang Guofeng, a film industry analyst with Analysys International, the Beijing consultancy, said having a “pretty good” opening weekend would be critical for the film’s future success. It would determine how much further screening time it received. “So far, the theatre managers have a positive outlook for this film based on its performance,” he said.
Despite generally poor reviews, the celebrity cast and the big budget would attract fans, said Mr Huang.
The Great Wall is the first major test for Legendary East, the Hollywood studio that made Jurassic World and which was bought in January by billionaire Wang Jianlin’s Dalian Wanda Group.
《长城》是传奇东方(Legendary East)的首次大考，这家好莱坞电影公司曾制作过《侏罗纪世界》(Jurassic World)，于今年1月被中国亿万富翁王健林的大连万达集团(Dalian Wanda Group)收购。
Mr Wang, China’s richest man, has spent lavishly to break into movies, television and theme parks, and sees Legendary attempting more blockbuster films like The Great Wall, which was the largest China-US co-production to date.
Mr Wang spared no expense in seeing through the project. The film was directed by Chinese director Zhang Yimou, whose last major film was the 2004 international hit House of Flying Daggers. Along with Mr Damon, who plays a British mercenary, it stars Willem Dafoe and Pedro Pascal, along with a host of Chinese celebrities including Andy Lau, Lu Han and Lin Gengxin.
王健林在《长城》项目上不惜成本。本片由中国导演张艺谋执导，他的上一部主要作品是2004年在国际取得成功的《十面埋伏》(House of Flying Daggers)。达蒙在本片扮演一名英国雇佣兵，除了他以外，片中明星还有威廉•达福(Willem Dafoe)、佩德罗•帕斯卡(Pedro Pascal)，以及刘德华(Andy Lau)、鹿晗、林更新等一众中国明星。
The plot sees Damon join Chinese defenders on the Great Wall to protect humanity against an attacking horde of mythical monsters.
The controversy surrounding Damon’s lead role became the source of public debate in June, when Taiwanese-American actress Constance Wu tweeted about the film: “We have to stop perpetuating the racist myth that [only a] white man can save the world.”
Mr Damon responded that he did not take the role away from a Chinese actor. “Once people see that it’s a monster movie and it’s a historical fantasy and I didn’t take a role away from a Chinese actor,” he said, the charge of “whitewashing” would go away. “It wasn’t altered because of me in any way,” he told the Associated Press earlier this month.
Additional reporting by Sherry Fei Ju 俱菲(Sherry Fei Ju)补充报道