“The Founding of a Party as it enters week three”

Shanghaiist has a funny update about The Founding of a Party, a goofy exercise in propaganda the CCP gave itself for its birthday. Apparently people here really aren’t going for it:

Before even hitting theaters, authorities announced a box office goal of 1 billion yuan. In order to reach that number, they have employed all manner of tactics, including but not limited to: pre-selling-out theaters for the debut week; mandatory attendance by businesses, schools, and government employees; voluntary field trips (something like “okay, if you don’t want the day off work, that’s up to you”); the release of the film in IMAX, and removal of Kung Fu Panda from many 3D, IMAX, and regular screens, and even reducing ticket prices of competing movies to lower profits; the pushing back of other foreign summer blockbusters such as Transformers 3 and Harry Potter in order to reduce competition.

It’s impossible to say just how many actual viewers have seen the film, considering anecdotes like this one, where an unsuspecting movie goer found herself in an entirely empty theater. Recommended reading, as she also mentions the funny practice of Chinese going to these star-studded films only the spend the entire two hours waiting for a celebrity, and then screaming their name. Wait, scream, wait, scream, wait, scream.

Microbloggers were all a-flutter when various screenshots of Founding’s Douban page were circulated on Sina Weibo showing low or rapidly dropping ratings, and then a removal of the reviews entirely. The reviews and ratings functions remain absent from both the Douban and Mtime pages for the film.

The ratings page is a good metaphor for the Party itself these days: so poorly rated that the ability to give ratings has been removed.


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Filed under China, propaganda

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