big-budget epic movie
Director Zhang Yimou has dismissed criticism of Chinese film's shift to big-budget historical epics, saying China's unsophisticated movie theater system is to blame.
Famed Chinese directors like Zhang and Chen Kaige have moved from films set in rural China or revolving around traditional Chinese culture to big-budget historical epics like Zhang's "House of Flying Daggers" and Chen's mythology "The Promise."
Zhang recently released "Curse of the Golden Flower," a lavish, even ostentatious, production about ancient imperial Chinese politics.
Some critics have said that such movies feature glamorous set production but little substance.
Asked about such criticism in an interview with the Chinese news Web site Sina.com, Zhang said the source of the problem is that artistic and mainstream films in China are distributed via the same channels, unlike in other parts of the world.
'Museum' on top
LOS ANGELES, California
Ben Stiller's "Night at the Museum" was the main exhibit at movie theaters, debuting with US$30.8 million to lead a rush of new movies over the holiday weekend, according to studio estimates yesterday.
Starring Stiller as a guard at a museum where exhibits come alive at night, the comedy exceeded expectations for 20th Century Fox, which had been counting on a bit more than US$20 million, said head of distribution Bruce Snyder.
The previous weekend's No. 1 movie, Sony's "The Pursuit of Happyness," slipped to second with US$15 million, raising its 10-day total to US$53.3 million.
Sylvester Stallone's "Rocky Balboa" lived up to its underdog theme, overcoming geriatric-boxer jokes to debut at No. 3 with a solid US$12.5 million over the weekend and a total of US$22.1 million since opening Wednesday.