Iron Man 3 Breaks Records In China, But Has All The Pockmarks Of Corporate Hollywood

Iron Man 3

Chinese product placements, superfluous scenes with Fan Bingbing, inflated ticket prices… what did all of that get Iron Man 3′s much anticipated debut in China this week?

Only every record in the books. “Disney is confirming that Iron Man 3 broke every opening day record in China’s box office,” according to “The official figure is currently $18,657,142 but it is expected rise to $21.5 million after all cinemas conclude their reporting.”

But is it actually good? Reaction has been… mixed.

“I just want to see Robert,” Stephen Qin, 25, told Los Angeles Times, referring to Robert Downey Jr. Ma Xinping, 22, adds, “It was just so-so.”

And more from LAT:

However, the sprinkling of Chinese near the opening and a little bonus footage with Fan at the end did nothing for moviegoers such as Gloria Zhang.

“It’s not necessary,” said the 26-year-old, who paid nearly $20 to watch the 3-D film at a multiplex theater in Beijing’s Sanlitun area. Zhang said she goes to the movies twice a month.

“This whole production is an insult to the intelligence of the Chinese audience perpetrated by the ridiculous co-production regulations set out by SARFT,” Kotaku’s Eric Jou told James Griffiths over IM.

And as Kotaku’s Brian Ashcraft writes: “M’kay.”

Of course, it’s unfair for the LA Times or any of us to cherry-pick quotes. Maybe you should judge by yourself. Here’s how the film opened, according to Hollywood Reporter:

As the houselights dimmed in cinemas across mainland China at around midnight on Tuesday, audiences attending the first wave of public screenings of Iron Man 3 fell silent with apprehension as a question appeared on screen: “What does Iron Man rely on to revitalize his energy?”

After a three-second blackout, three big Chinese characters appeared onscreen: “Gu Li Duo.”


Of course, the movie itslf might be okay. But the special treatment Hollywood is giving China, as if Chinese filmgoers are too naive to judge quality? It’s insanely stupid, and reeks of orientalism.

We’re happy to see Chinese bloggers pushing back. Hopefully they’ll exercise their distaste in another important way: choosing to watch pirated DVDs and online streams instead of buying cinema tickets.

(Image i09)

    8 Responses to “Iron Man 3 Breaks Records In China, But Has All The Pockmarks Of Corporate Hollywood”

    1. Andao

      I was pretty surprised at the awfulness of the extra 2 minutes at the end. There’s a bazillion more interesting things they could have done, and didn’t.

    2. Jesse

      Saw it today. It was… embarrassing. Especially embarrassing for China’s A-list actress who is just an extra here.

    3. Chackie Jan

      It is an embarrassment to everyone and a kowtow to wild west capitalism. I was planning to go watch this in cinema but will download instead. Thanks for the warning and here’s to hoping something horrible happens to the colon of the marketing mong who thought this was a good idea.

    4. Eric

      Please note that Brian didn’t actually see the movie. He’s in Japan. I saw the movie. The Chinese additions were terrible.

      What was most appalling is that this is example of a “Co-production” that SARFT had approved. I mean, when Looper was released Chinese bloggers were upset. Officials were upset. They claimed that they would crack down on “so-so” co-productions that didn’t have anything really Chinese in them. Yet after all that commotion, they allowed Iron Man 3.

      On top of that, the movie doesn’t make sense because they removed the post credits teaser/easter egg. The whole movie has Tony narrating. Iron Man isn’t a meta-film, it’s not a self referential film, so who the F is Tony regaling his story to? The International version has this, why doesn’t the Chinese version have it? Is it because of Run times and the stupid extra china scenes bumped it out? Or is it because Marvel/Disney couldn’t guarantee future movies in China? If it’s the latter, the easter egg at the end of Iron Man 3 has nothing to do with Marvel Phase 2.

      Fucking SARFT man, Fucking SARFT.

    5. snoopfrog

      I saw this movie in shanghai. Ticket rmb 40 so ok. The last couple of minutes with fan binbing were indeed superfluous but overall i enjoyed this film as my wife and my kids did. And to those wo think tis cut has anything to with china…. what to say. The cars are audi because audi pays for this so i think they thought they could appeal more to a chinese audience. And most people leaving the cathay cinema seemed to have rather enjoyed this film…. and the 3d actually made sense.

    6. icky

      How much do you think has this to do with the movie goer and how much to do with goverment organs such as saft?

    7. SeaHorse

      ““I just want to see Robert,” Stephen Qin, 25, told Los Angeles Times”

      As someone with a vagina, I only went to see the Sherlock movies and Ironman for Robert. The movies were just okay. It’s not capitalism or orientalism guys, it’s the power of Robert Downey Jr.


    Leave a Reply to Andao

    • (will not be published)

    XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

    six + 1 =