Tang Wei’s “The Golden Era” Bombs at Box Office

Director Ann Hui’s (許鞍華) latest film The Golden Era <黃金時代>, starring Tang Wei (湯唯), has been performing poorly at Mainland China’s box office. The historical film about legendary female writer Xiao Hong (蕭紅) opened in theaters on October 1, China’s National Day, and took seven full days to gross 36 million RMB.

The unconventional biopic, set in the 1930s, follows the turbulent life of Xiao Hong. The film features over 30 major stars and is three hours long. It uses an avant-garde approach to its filming style, which includes characters talking to the camera.

Prior to its release, investors estimated that The Golden Era, produced at 70 million RMB, would gross at least 200 million RMB during its theatrical run. Ann Hui’s previous film, the Hong Kong drama film A Simple Life <桃姐>, had grossed over 70 million RMB in mainland China, and also won many accolades at film awards.

Mr. G, an insider who works with a distribution company in China, said many of his colleagues did not expect The Golden Era to do well in the box office. “No one thought it would gross past 100 million RMB. Some said it probably wouldn’t even gross 50 million RMB.”

The reason behind The Golden Era’s box office failure may be attributed to its boring storyline and the lack of commercial appeal. “It’s really a challenge for the audience. If the movie was a theatrical production, it would be easier to accept. But it’s a film and it’s three hours long. There are too many cast members. Xiao Hong herself is also not well-known among people today. Why would people go watch a three-hour film about her?”

Another factor to The Golden Era’s failure may be because of its unappealing promotion to local audiences. The Golden Era was promoted at international film festivals such as the Venice Film Festival and will be featured at the Busan International Film Festival, but domestic promotions were lacking.

As the film was released on China National Day, October 1, moviegoers likely preferred to watch lighthearted comedies or action-packed blockbusters rather than heavy dramas like The Golden Era.

Source: Sina.com

This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.

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  1. It has over 30 major stars and the only blamed is Tang Wei? If it is successful, would they refer it to Tang Wei’s “The Golden Era”?

    1. I agree with @Toby. The article didn’t blame Tang Wei for the poor box office performance. If anything, they “blamed” on poor PR and release date.

    2. sometimes Ann Hui’s films sputter – they start off nice looking but you don’t know where it goes in the middle and end e.g. the book and sword films, songs of exile and the one about the Manchurian auntie who lived in Shanghai

      this sounded like it could have been like Stanley Ho’s Ruan Ling Yu but I guess not.

      1. Ruan Ling Yu is (centre stage) is not a very good movie, it’s overrated at best. Maggie Cheung’s performance was phenomenal, but the pacing of the movie and the directing was way off.

  2. 3 hrs is a bit too long. Would prefer to watch it with a remote control in hand.

  3. 3 hours long…wow that is quite long for a none action movie. The only movie that I have enough patient to watch is “Titanic” but it was interesting though. Hope they’ll get their 70 million production back. Anyway I like Tang Wei. Hope she get some good role(lately she was doing some boring movie and this….

  4. nothing special about tang wei or zhang ziyi, wonder how in the world did they become famous? the media must be promoting sex..

    just for thoughts.. media is a name of a ruin city in ancient world

    1. you forgot those HK actresses who did sexpot roles.

      Incidentally, Tang Wei is more popular in SKorea than she is back home.

  5. Slow paced film that lasts for 3 hours. Better save my money and go to bed.

  6. Is it just me or does Tang Wei look like Wong Cho Lam in that photo?

    1. i used to never agree with people saying Tang Wei was ugly. I agree with them now after reading your comment. You nailed it…that’s wong cho lam in drag..

  7. If they want money they should pick Wong Jing to direct it and not Ann Hui.

    Ann Hui is art and quality.

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