Yet more good news for the space thriller
Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity has been one of the year’s most successful films, both fiscally and critically. Since debuting at the Venice Film Festival, the movie has accrued a 97% rating on RottenTomatoes.com, and grabbed $91m at box offices worldwide.
Set Adrift in 'Gravity'
Apart from China.
The film, while stunning cinemagoers and critics alike, was still facing a major setback had China not granted the film access into its tightly supervised theatres.
China doesn’t tend to let films surrounding a foreign nation’s space program into their zeitgeist with their own exploits in the field still in competition with the rest. And considering the power of American cinema, it’s usually the American space program that makes its presence felt in cinema.
But China are a major player in the international film market – they are the second biggest consumer base where cinema tickets are concerned – so losing that demographic would have represented a real blow for Warner Bros. and their space thriller. Thankfully, it has been approved.
The U.S and Russia have all but abandoned space exploration, but China see their manned space missions as a token of national pride – a sign that they’re competing in one of the their most prized exports: technology.
Earlier this year, The Telegraph reported that China had loosened their American-made film quota, meaning that more films would be shown per year. In 2010, the Asia Pacific box office grew by 21%, which increased the pressure on China for them to allow lift restrictions on US movies.
What's more, the last month of the year – Gravity is hitting China in late November – is usually only for Chinese films, as the market enters its busiest period. It’s also worth noting that Gravity has faired well on IMAX screens; China has the world’s second largest total of IMAX screens after North America.
So it’s all boding well for Cuaron and Gravity, a trend we expect to continue when the Oscars come around.
The poster for Gravity