'The Great Wall' Takes Social Media Flack, Sparking War Between Chinese Critics and Its Investors
Yicai Global
/SOURCE : Yicai
'The Great Wall' Takes Social Media Flack, Sparking War Between Chinese Critics and Its Investors

(Yicai Global) Dec. 20 -- 'The Great Wall', the monster-battling movie that brought together actor Matt Damon and director Zhang Yimou, has received some negative online reviews in China, sparking its own conflict between investors and critics.

Despite raking in over CNY300 million (USD43 million) at the box office in just three days, some social media users labeled it "unimaginative," prompting a warning letter to one commentator from one of the movie's investors. It has a score of 5.7 on IMBD and 5.4 on Douban, a popular Chinese film review website.

On Sina Weibo, a leading microblogging site, a reviewer with the name 'Blasphemy Film' and almost 750,000 followers said the plot was boring and called the characters stale and the story line unimaginative. "A mediocre assembly line work, despite its ample capital, luxury stars and top technology," noted 'Poisonous Words on Film,' a public Wechat account holder with 3.26 million followers.

With a total budget of USD150 million, 'The Great Wall' is by far China's costliest film to date. Its story is set in ancient China, and depicts the struggle of an elite force defending humanity in a decisive battle against monsters on China's renowned Great Wall. Matt Damon and Pedro Pascal play European mercenaries who join the fight.

The negative social media reviews left investor and Le Vision Pictures CEO Zhang Zhao unhappy. He launched a counter-attack on his personal Weibo account against the film's critics. Subsequently, Le Vision Pictures issued a warning letter to 'Blasphemy Film' through its official micro-blog, asking the latter to delete the comments and threatening legal action.

'The Great Wall' was co-invested and released by Legendary Pictures, Universal Pictures, China Film Group Corporation, the country's biggest state-owned movie company, and internet movie firm Le Vision Pictures, a unit of LeEco, itself a subsidiary of Leshi Holdings.

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