Opinion / From the Press

Beware of superhero films

(China Daily) Updated: 2014-07-08 07:27

Transformers 4: Age of Extinction grossed more than 600 million yuan ($96.73 million) in the first three days of its release in China, which could break the record created by Avatar. But recent Hollywood superhero movies, all of which have been hits in China, could have a negative impact on children because they seem to celebrate violence and propagate hegemony, says an article in Jiefang Daily. Excerpts:

Hollywood used to depend on summer vacations to promote its superhero movies. But that no longer is the case, at least in China. Take Captain America: The Winter Soldier for example. Despite being released in April, it made more than $200 million at the box office, and its makers have earned about $6 billion by producing nine similar movies in the past six years.

One of the strategies of Hollywood nowadays is to add other countries' elements to superhero movies and release them first in those countries. This helps them to maximize the global box office returns. The same strategy was used for Transformers 4, which has Chinese elements both in locations and product placements. As a result, the film has drawn large Chinese audiences.

Hollywood has cooperated with the US government to promote the country's foreign policy from the days of the Cold War. After the end of the Cold War, Hollywood films shifted from foreign and military affairs to the cultural field, and began making superhero movies that celebrated violence and professed hegemony.

Using high-tech and handsome stars, Hollywood superhero movies present the "saviors" of humankind in many faces. The problem is that children, and even some adults, lap them up, helping promote American lifestyle and values that do not necessarily conform to their own cultural values. Therefore, American superhero movies may not be good examples for children in China and other countries.

The opinions expressed on this page do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

(China Daily 07/08/2014 page9)

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