Hollywood movies

Chinese stars promote Hollywood movies they don’t take part in

Canadian idol Ryan Gosling has plenty of swooning fans and a handful of prestigious awards to his name, but that hasn’t stopped him from getting kicked out of his own movie poster in China.

Recently, China’s biggest celebrities have become paid champions for major international movies in China – even when they haven’t appeared in the movie itself, according to a post on Saturday from a social media account affiliated with the famous outlet. of film critic DS Movie.

The official poster for sci-fi blockbuster ‘Blade Runner 2049’, which will be released later this week in China, features the film’s star, Ryan Gosling. But on some posters in China, Gosling is nowhere to be found. Instead, the film’s dapper protagonist appears to be Chinese actor Wang Kai – who doesn’t have a role in the film.

Wang rose to fame for his role in the popular television drama “Ode to Joy,” China’s answer to “Sex and the City.” His role in the latest “Blade Runner” is quite different: he was enlisted as the film’s “main content recommender.”

The movie poster features Wang in a tuxedo and bow tie. But the author of the article was apparently unimpressed with the quality, writing that any “local print shop” could have done it. Wang also made a 60-second video to introduce the film’s cast and encourage audiences to flock to theaters.

Left: A poster of ‘Blade Runner 2049’ features Wang Kai as the film’s ‘promotional ambassador’. Right: A poster for ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ features Li Yifeng in the same role. Excerpt from the Weibo accounts of the films

‘Blade Runner’ contestant ‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’ tried a similar trick by recruiting 18-year-old Wang Junkai, the lead singer of popular teen band TFBoys, as a ‘promotional ambassador’. .

Although Wang, whose Weibo microblog account has more than 30 million subscribers, did not appear in the spy movie sequel, he did produce a promotional song titled “Becoming a Gentleman.”

The article slammed Wang – no connection to Wang Kai – on its “Kingsman” promotional poster, on which the young fashion icon appears in a mismatched suit. “His popularity is why he was invited as an ambassador for the promotion, whether or not his personality complements the product,” the author wrote.

But the marketing ploy seems to be working. Online, music and movie critics said Wang was the main reason they bought a ticket for ‘Kingsman,’ which grossed over $40 million when it debuted in China last weekend. . A fan from Suzhou commented on Kugou Music, an app backed by internet giant Tencent, that they were scared of the film’s fight scenes but also buoyed by Wang’s involvement. “Thanks to you I would watch it till the end with my eyes closed,” the user wrote.

The article also mentions in Marvel’s “Spider-Man: Homecoming” article, which recruited 23-year-old hip-hop rapper PG One, winner of the first season of popular talent show “The Rap of China. to be his “China hip-hop ambassador. PG One was asked to sing a promotional song for the film, but netizens complained that parts of the music sounded plagiarized and the song’s lyrics had no relation to the film or the superhero universe. marvel hero.

Other films to have named popular Chinese celebrities to lend their star power include ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’, ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’, ‘Power Rangers’, ‘Star Trek: Beyond’ and “Transformers: The Last Knight.

Even Chinese actors appearing in Hollywood productions appear to be there purely to tap into China’s rapidly growing box office, which is on track to overtake that of the United States, the world’s largest film market, this year. . For example, actress Fan Bingbing’s character in “X-Men: Days of Future Past” only had a handful of lines, and the megastar role in “Iron Man 3” only existed in one. version of the film specially made for the Chinese market. Meanwhile, Chinese audiences laughed at the uninspired roles given to actresses Angelababy and Jing Tian in “Independence Day: Resurgence” and “Kong: Skull Island,” respectively.

Last year, the Chinese box office reached nearly 45 billion yuan, an increase of 189% over 2012. During the just-concluded 19th Party Congress, Sun Zhijun, deputy director of the Party Publicity Department, said China already has the largest number of movie theaters. screens around the world.

Publisher: Julia Hollingsworth.

(Header image: A promotional poster for ‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’ shows Wang Junkai dressed in a tuxedo, apparently as one of the protagonists. Taken from the film’s Weibo account)