””””BEIJING, July 27 (Xinhuanet) -- One picture shows a wrinkly face from outer
space with an ear-to-ear smile, and another, the beaming outer space visitor and
his earthling friend flying on a bicycle silhouetted against the moon.
””””These are two of the 11 images on a series of ET T-shirts beingwidely worn
in Beijing as science fiction mania spreads throughoutChina's capital this
””””Just one month ago, Steven Spielberg's new version of "ET", a classic movie
about a stranded space alien who befriends an American boy, was being played at
almost all the cinemas in Beijing.
””””Smart businesses seized a golden opportunity to sell T-shirts by printing
the images from the original ET movie before the new one was released, resulting
in scores of Beijingers bearing the amiable alien's face.
””””Now alien-watchers are queuing to get tickets for another American
blockbuster, "Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones".
””””Just three days after the release of Star Wars, the box office takings
in Beijing hit 2.5 million yuan (301,200 US dollars). Thisexceeded the
joint takings of "Harry Potter" and "Lord of the Rings" in their first three
””””In addition to record box office sales, Li Xuelei, director of Bossini
brand promotion in Beijing, said a record 80,000 T-shirts have been sold in a
single month, making the most successful movie-clothes marriage ever.
””””Li said demand is particularly high for the T-shirt showing ET and his
buddy flying past the moon.
””””Other products connected to extraterrestrial beings are suddenly appearing.
Following the film success, a new book series of Star Wars quickly found its way
to Beijing bookstore shelves.
””””According to the statistics from the Beijing Bookstore Building,one of the
country's largest bookstores, in less than 10 days, 248copies of "Episode I" and
311 copies of "Episode II" have sold. Both copies are priced at 25 yuan (3.1 US
dollars) or higher, yet sales are expected to soar when the movie finishes in
””””Xinghe, a noted Chinese science fiction writer, said extraterrestrial
beings used to be a touchy topic in China as there was fear that delving too
deeply could bring "social chaos".However, as society has become more open to
new ideas, people havebecome more comfortable with the subject.
””””He also said, "The improvement in living standards leads to more time to
think about things like the mysteries of outer space." Enditem