WAITING PATIENTLY: Audience queue in line to buy tickets to watch Titanic 3D in the midnight of April 10 when the movie premiered in Shanghai (CFP)
Titanic 3D, a retouched version of the 1997 Hollywood blockbuster, swept the Chinese box office by raking in 500 million yuan ($79 million) in the first week (April 10-16) of its release, according to the China Film News.
It is a new record high in terms of first-week box office revenue in China. Moviegoers have to queue for hours to get a ticket. It took nine days for Transformers to hit this figure and 13 days for Avatar.
Managers of China's major movie theaters, including Wanda Cinemas and China Film Stellar Theater Chain, said that on observing the huge success in China, Hollywood might attach more importance to the Chinese market in the future, and take Chinese audience's preferences into consideration.
Directed by James Cameron and starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, the movie was re-released worldwide on April 6, to mark the 100th anniversary of the ship setting sail.
In 1998 when the movie was first released in China, it took in 360 million yuan ($57 million), holding the record for over a decade.
Titanic 3D is exactly the same movie as the old one, only applying new 3D technologies. Fourteen years have passed, but what makes the Chinese people so passionate about this movie?
CLASSIC MOVIE: Titanic 3D is released worldwide on April 6 to mark the 100th anniversary of the ship setting sail (FILE)
"Is the person you watched this movie with 14 years ago still at your side? In 2012, whose hand will you hold to re-live the classic?" This is the advertisement of the Titanic 3D at Chinese cinemas. This statement immediately strikes many people and brings back their memories of the old days.
In 1998, when Titanic was shown in China, young people born in the 1970s and 1980s were the major source of the audience. Now 14 years have passed, most of them have gotten married and become parents.
"Last night, I watched Titanic 3D with my husband, and I was moved to tears once again. I watched the old Titanic more than 10 years ago. At that time, I was a high school student and had no idea of what love is. But now, I have found my love, gotten married and have a daughter. I feel deeply sorry for Jack and Rose. I am much happier than Rose because I have my husband loving me at my side. I believe we will be happy for the rest of our lives," said Lu Xiao, human resources manager of the COFCO Innovative Foods (Beijing) Co. Ltd.
"I couldn't help bursting into tears when watching the movie. Though 14 years have passed, I found the heroine played by Winslet was even more charming than the one in my memory," said Liu Liping, a 27-year-old engineer of China Communication Construction Co. Ltd.
"This movie has exerted greater impacts on the Chinese audience," said Yin Hong, Executive Dean of the School of Journalism and Communication of Tsinghua University. The new version of the movie taps into the Chinese people's collective memory, said Yin.