Fortress falls flat

Much anticipated sci-fi movie disappoints many Chinese fans, Xu Fan reports.

It was anticipated to be the top sci-fi film this summer, but Shanghai Fortress has flopped, triggering online debate about the future of Chinese sci-fi films.

Starring A-list actress Shu Qi and pop idol Lu Han, the movie opened on 33 percent of the country’s nearly 65,000 screens on Friday, knocking down the phenomenal hit Ne Zha to 27 percent that day. But, a flood of negative reviews soon pulled Shanghai Fortress down from the top slot, with the screening rate shrinking to 14.4 percent by the next day.

On popular film review site Douban, a reference for many theatergoers, Shanghai Fortress also saw its score fall from 4.2 points out of 10 on its debut day to 3.2 points as of Wednesday. Even worse news was that the film, which reportedly cost around 360 million yuan ($51.1 million) to make, has grossed just 116 million yuan by Wednesday.

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Based on online feedback, the live box-office tracker Maoyan has estimated that the film’s final box office will not surpass 150 million yuan, indicating that its financers will suffer a big loss.

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