The Lineup of "Red Cliff" pose for a
picture at a press conference in Hong Kong on June 30, 2008, ten days
before the premiere of the film. (Photo:tungstar)
BEIJING, July 10 -- The costliest Chinese film seems
to have the potential to be the most profitable as well. John Woo's "Red Cliff"
opened on Thursday, attracting a full house at almost every theater screening
Theaters in Beijing, Chengdu, Hangzhou and
many other cities reported unusually high attendance for the opening of the
historical epic shortly after midnight on Thursday, Sohu.com
Despite its grand premiere last week, it was
the first time the two-hour and 20-minute film was screened in its
An audience member in Beijing told Sohu that
she heard that John Woo had spent five years making "Red Cliff," which aroused
her curiosity in the film.
Moviegoers were also
impressed by the film's magnificence, Sohu says. "Red Cliff" is based on a
well-known historical battle in 208 AD in which thousands of ships were burnt.
The biggest scenes involved 2,000 actors and crew members, and around 1,300
special effects are used, an earlier report on Shanghai Daily says.
A few viewers on Thursday voiced disappointments that the
lines spoken by these ancient characters were too modern, but Sohu found in a
survey that generally speaking, the audiences gave the film a
The lengthy film also left some fans
feeling exhausted, yet John Woo has done his best to cut it short. The current
release is just half of the "Red Cliff" series. Woo said before that it's very
difficult to condense the story into two hours so he split it into two parts to
allow more room for character development.
part is set for release in Asia in December, when Western audience will also get
to see a single, condensed release.
The US$70 million
"Red Cliff" is said to be the most expensive Chinese-language film ever made.
Its star-heavy cast spans talents from Hong Kong, Taiwan and the mainland,
including Tony Leung, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Lin Chi-ling, Zhao Wei and Hu Jun.