CHINA / National

"Da Vinci Code" pulled from theatres
By Wang Shanshan (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-06-09 06:07

Movie theatres across the country will stop screening "The Da Vinci Code" from today, three weeks after its general release.

This July 2005 photo, supplied by Sony Pictures, shows Audrey Tautou and Tom Hanks outside Paris' Louvre Museum in a scene from Columbia Pictures' 'The Da Vinci Code.' The film, criticized by many reviewers as dull, is just the latest proof that a book that keeps you turning the pages late at night won't necessarily keep you awake in the theater. [AP]
The withdrawal is to make way for domestic movies, Weng Li, spokesman for China Film Corporation one of the two co-distributors of the Hollywood blockbuster on the Chinese mainland told China Daily yesterday.

The decision was made in response to calls for promotion of domestic movies by the Chinese Movie Distributors' Association, the Chinese Movie Producers' Association and the Chinese Urban Movie Theatres Association last month, he said.

"We are not against foreign films," the spokesman noted. "My company will continue to arrange their screenings in China according to market demand."

A gatekeeper at the Cineplex in Beijing's upscale Oriental Plaza said: "It is surprising news. The movie has drawn the largest number of viewers in the year."

Having made 104 million yuan (US$13 million) since its release on May 19, it was well on its way to becoming one of the highest-ever grossing foreign films.

It has been reported that its box office proceeds were approaching that of "Pearl Harbor," which made 105 million yuan (US$13.1 million) as the No 2 foreign film in Chinese box office history.

"Titanic" is first, raking in 359 million yuan (US$45 million).

Before the movie was released in China, the Chinese Catholic church issued a notice to followers nationwide asking them to "firmly boycott" it, accusing the movie of going against, and distorting, the tenets and history of the Catholic church.

"The contents of both the movie and the novel are totally fictional," said the notice.

(China Daily 06/09/2006 page1)


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