Chinese audiences protest 'Jason Bourne' (3D)

( ) Updated: 2016-08-26 10:14:39
Chinese audiences protest 'Jason Bourne' (3D)

A poster for action spy thriller "Jason Bourne". [File photo]

The special 3D version of action spy thriller "Jason Bourne" edited for the Chinese market has been the target of furious criticism for its bad 3D format conversion.

"Jason Bourne", the fifth installment of the Bourne film series starring Matt Damon, is only available in a 3D format in China.

There have been several other films converted to 3D especially for China, such as "2012", "Transcendence" and "Furious 7". But film director Paul Greengrass' style, which includes hand-held camera shooting and many dark night scenes, is not easy to render into a 3D format.

Critics said the decision was based on greed; 3D conversion is much cheaper than original 3D films, but the ticket prices are the same. According to Entgroup, which provides big data consultation for the Chinese media and entertainment industries, the average per ticket price of 3D films is about 5 yuan more than 2D films.

Zhang Xiaobei, a film trailer maker and script writer, angrily posted on his microblog that, "Those who decided to do the 3D conversion, what a pity I can't name you!"

Film critics Mu Wei'er and Tao Tao also complained that the 3D version made them dizzy.

The criticism also triggered a boycott of the 3D "Jason Bourne" on the internet.

Industry observers believe a film sold in 3D format will make 33 percent higher profits than it would in 2D format. For instance, it's been calculated that "The Mermaid" (3D) made 460 million extra yuan ($69 million) thanks to its 3D conversion. But the 3D conversion fee is only several million yuan. This is good business, even if you put out low-quality 3D films.

Another explanation from some film executives for the 3D conversion was that it was meant fight against piracy, since 3D versions cannot be stealthily recorded in the theater.

Universal Pictures' China branch swiftly responded to the controversy on Wednesday night, saying that it is working with distributors China Film Co. Ltd. and Huaxia Film Distribution Co. Ltd. as well as theaters to present more 2D version showtimes for Chinese audiences.

"Jason Bourne" has made about 125 million yuan ($18.77 million) in two days after its debut in China on Tuesday.


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