- Chinese film “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” made $US37.9 million on its opening night on Monday in China, the biggest opening ever for a local arthouse movie, according to Variety.
- But it’s facing backlash from moviegoers who feel tricked by the movie’s marketing, which they claim painted it as a romantic comedy.
- The movie made only $US1.5 million in its second night and is already out of the top five at the local box office.
Chinese film “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” broke box-office records in its opening night on December 31. But it’s fading fast at the box office, and some audience members have complained that the movie’s marketing tricked them into thinking it was a romantic comedy when it’s actually an arthouse drama that includes one 55-minute take.
The movie, directed by Chinese filmmaker Bi Gan, grossed $US37.9 million in its first night in China on Monday, which is the biggest opening ever for a local arthouse film, according to Variety. It even exceeded the night’s earnings for “Venom,” which has been a huge hit in the country and has grossed $US270 million there.
“Long Day’s Journey Into Night” was tracking for a huge opening night well before it hit theatres, though. It had earned $US15 million in pre-sold tickets six days before its release, which was more than even “Avengers: Infinity War,” according to Indiewire.
But the success didn’t last long. The movie made only $US1.5 million on Tuesday and was out of the top five at the box office by Wednesday, according to Variety. The movie is facing backlash from moviegoers who felt tricked by the movie’s marketing campaign, which they claim painted it as a romantic comedy.
One promotional message said, “Do you know what kind of sweet talk you’ll use to invite someone to the last film of 2018, ‘The Last Night On Earth?'”
Local user reviews indicated that audience members were walking out or falling asleep during the movie, according to Variety.
Jonathan Papish, a Chinese film industry analyst for China Film Insider, wrote on Twitter that the movie’s ratings are “understandably abysmal” and that it has a 3.6 (out of 10) score on Maoyan, a Chinese movie-ticketing service.
Critics have responded more positively to the movie than audiences. It premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2018 to critical acclaim, and it has an 89% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes.
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