Beijing, China’s big-budget fantasy epic Asura
has been pulled from cinemas after a dismal opening weekend.
The 750m yuan ($112m; Pound 85m) film reportedly made less than
50m yuan on its weekend debut.
Asura’s plot is based on Chinese mythology and featured
leading actors and flashy special effects.
Producers are reportedly planning to rework the movie and release it
again at a later date.
Unless the film achieves much greater success the second time
round, Asura’s $105m loss would make it one of the biggest flops in
The elaborate fantasy film was backed by some of China’s major
movie companies: Alibaba Pictures, Zhenjian Film Studio and Ningxia
Film Group Loosely based on Buddhist mythology, the movie tells the
story of a shepherd protecting a mythical heavenly realm from attack.
Before its release, the film was showered with praise by state
media, with the China Daily calling it the “most hotly anticipated
blockbuster of China’s competitive summer season”.
During the three days, it was showing in cinemas though, it
received an abysmal rating on Chinese film review site Douban.
With China overtaking the US as the world’s biggest film market,
the plan for Asura was to kick off a major fantasy franchise akin to Lord
of the Rings or Game of Thrones.
In the run-up to its opening weekend, financer Ningxia said they
“wanted the film to raise confidence in our own culture and train more
Producers have reportedly suggested the poor box office
showing was only part of the reason why the movie was pulled, and
that Asura would be reworked and released again.
While Chinese film productions have not typically had the same
international reach as Hollywood films, there have been several
China-Hollywood co-productions in recent years.
One of the most high-profile was The Great Wall, which cost
$150m although it too disappointed at the box office, the BBC reported.
Source: Oman News Agency