The star-studded mainland Chinese film, Tiny Times <小时代> opened in theaters on June 27, raking in 73 million RMB on its first day and setting a new record for domestic 2D films. Despite its initial success, however, the movie has been criticized for excessively showcasing luxury goods and relying on its idol cast.
Written and directed by author Guo Jingming (郭敬明), Tiny Times is adapted from the first novel in Guo’s trilogy of the same name. Featuring big-name stars like mainland Chinese actress Yang Mi (楊冪), Taiwanese actress Amber Kuo (郭采潔), and Taiwanese actor Kai Ko (柯震東), the movie quickly gained momentum among Guo’s fans, most of whom are teenagers or in their twenties.
Although Tiny Times was wildly successful with its target audience, critics panned the film for being more like an extended music video for luxury goods than like an actual movie. They also criticized the director and the production company for not taking into consideration the negative influences that such a grandiose show might have on its young audience. For instance, some viewers’ first thought after watching the movie was how to get their hands on a Chanel handbag.
“Sometimes a movie is not just a movie in itself,” said one industry insider, who asked not to be named. “You have to pay more attention to its effect on society.”
According to Qin Lei (秦镭), the marketing manager of Beijing Hanlu Entertainment Technology Media, Tiny Times’s success at the box office can be entirely attributed to its idol effect. A quick look at the viewers’ age range shows that the majority was around 20 years old, who tend to watch movies simply to see their favorite celebrities.
Although Tiny Times performed well in the initial stages, the film is already seeing a decline in sales. On only its third day at the UME Huaxing International Cineplex in Beijing, the film had fallen behind Man of Steel and Badges of Fury <不二神探>, which Qin attributes to its lackluster and derivative content.
“As Guo Jingming’s first directed movie,” said Qin, “there is nothing, from the content to the filming techniques, that is worth being surprised at in Tiny Times.”
“Tiny Times” Trailer
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This article is written by Joanna for JayneStars.com.