China’s biggest budget film Asura, that hit theatres on Sunday turned out to be a flop at the Box Office. With a $113 million (S$154 million) budget, the most expensive Chinese film ever made has been pulled from theatres on its opening weekend after bringing in only $7.3 million. The film’s official social media account shared a post on Sunday stating that the film will be removed from theatres at 10 pm that night. The post read, “We express our apologies to all those who wanted to but won’t have the chance to see it”. Also Read - Rajamouli to make mini TV series on 'The Rise of Sivagami'
This Alibaba Pictures’ special effects fantasy film, was made with an intention to make it the first instalment epic trilogy inspired by Tibetan Buddhist mythology. This was supposed to be part of a drive by the authorities to promote works bearing elements of traditional Chinese culture. The state media on Friday said that it cost 750 million yuan ($113.5 million) to make the film while Chinese ticketing platform Maoyan, claimed that it took in just over $7.3 million at the weekend. State media also tried to sell the film before its release and claimed the film to be “the most hotly anticipated blockbuster of China’s competitive summer season.” Yang Hongtao, chairman of Ningxia Film Group, one of the movie’s backers, told one of the leading dailies of China ahead of Friday’s opening, “It’s a very imaginative movie. We wanted the film to raise confidence in our own culture and train more domestic talent.” The paper also stated that the film that was in the making for six years had spent a huge sum on visuals featuring 2,400 scenes with special effects in its runtime of just 141.
Most of the Chinese blockbusters ever made has spent half the budget that was spent on Asura. The estimated loss of the film is $106 million and is the fifth-biggest flop in movie history worldwide. The film received 3.1 rating on Douban, China’s most influential user review platform.