Film Marks IMAX Milestone as First International Title Converted Into IMAX Format
High Per-Screen Box Office Average Indicates IMAX Release is Resonating With Chinese Moviegoers
SHANGHAI, China and NEW YORK, July 27, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — IMAX Corporation (Nasdaq:IMAX) (TSX:IMX) and Huayi Bros. Media Corporation Ltd., China’s largest privately owned media group, today released the opening weekend box office results for the highly-anticipated Chinese film Aftershock, directed by renowned film director, Feng Xiaogang. The film was released on 12 IMAX screens in China and generated more than $640,000 at the box office, for a per screen average of approximately $55,000 for the opening weekend. “Aftershock” is the first mainstream Chinese film and the first mainstream commercial film produced and distributed by a studio outside of the U.S. to be digitally re-mastered into the unparalleled image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience®. The film will open on three additional IMAX screens in early August.
“Aftershock represents our first foray into non-U.S. language commercial films, and we are pleased that the opening weekend results were very successful,” said Richard Gelfond, CEO of IMAX Corp. “The early results of this effort bode well for us, as IMAX explores converting other local content in China and elsewhere.”
“Huayi Bros. and director Feng Xiaogang created an incredible film with an emotional impact that is ideally suited for IMAX, and these opening weekend results indicate that moviegoers in China agree,” added Greg Foster, Chairman and President, IMAX Filmed Entertainment. “The strong opening of this film is encouraging, and we believe we’ll experience continued success during the weeks ahead.”
Based on true events, Aftershock is an epic-scale drama that tells one of the most heart wrenching stories which took place during the 1976 Tangshan Earthquake in China, that cost over 240,000 lives.
When a mother is told by the rescue team that her two children are buried under the debris close to each other, and digging one out would result in further collapse of the wreckage on the other, she is forced to make the most difficult decision of her life. As the clock ticked away, she finally ended her struggle and chose to save the toddler son, but her heartbreaking decision was overheard by the little daughter. Deemed as a dead person, the young girl miraculously survived and was rescued after being buried under for days. Suffering from the emotional shock of the disaster and the painful memory of her mother’s choice, she refused to reveal whom she was. She was put up for adoption and later moved to the US, becoming a doctor as an adult. But shadowed by the traumatic experience in her childhood, she forever remained emotionally closed up. When the Sichuan earthquake takes over 80,000 lives in 2008, she volunteers to join the rescue team and returns to her homeland, China. As she witnesses the tribulations people go through when a natural disaster takes place, she finally unlocks the pain she had felt all these years and finds forgiveness. She finds and reunites with the mother she had parted from for over 32 years.
A human drama about finding forgiveness, Aftershock depicts not only the fatal tragedy that is brought on by a natural disaster of great levels, but also the strength and courage that is demonstrated when we face extreme situations.
UPDATE: Additional news on Aftershock‘s IMAX box office:
The Hollywood Reporter: Imax brings in over $640,000 for ‘Aftershock’
CNNGo.com: ‘Aftershock’ breaks box office record
Contactmusic: Chinese Film Breaks Box Office Record
The Associated Press: China film ‘Aftershock’ rules domestic box office