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What makes 'vulgar' movie become box-office success? (2)

(People's Daily Online)

08:39, January 17, 2013

2012's top 10 cinematic sensations [enter]

What makes "Lost in Thailand" a box-office success?

The movie's success first lies in its artistic and entertainment quality as well as the nationwide promotion by its investor Enlight Media Group.

Comedies can be divided into high-caliber and low-caliber ones. "Lost in Thailand" appears to be a low-caliber comedy due to its low-level joke making methods, but possesses some features of a high-caliber comedy thanks to its solid dramatic structure, delicate conflict, smooth storytelling, good sense of rhythm, and other difficult artistic methods. Such a comedy meets the needs of both the grassroots and intellectuals, and has naturally become popular nationwide.

Culturally speaking, the movie appears to be a farce, but contains generally accepted cultural values. In the movie, the grassroots beat white-collar workers in terms of morality, and the pursuit of family love prevails over utilitarianism. These cultural values have been widely accepted in China.

Right time, right place, and right people have contributed the success of "Lost in Thailand."

First, domestic movies performed poorly last year compared to foreign ones, and people from all walks of life hope that a homemade movie can beat foreign blockbusters and add impetus to the domestic film industry. This comedy has thus naturally received great support from all sides. Second, the comedy's competitors are too "weak" to compete against it. Third, the movie stars Xu Zheng, Wang Baoqiang, and Huang Bo, three extremely popular Chinese comedians, have naturally attracted huge audiences.

The success of "Lost in Thailand" shows that comedies which serve its purpose, reflect real-world problems, tell story in accordance with artistic rules, and star popular comedians are highly likely to succeed at the box office.

Admittedly, many domestic movies contain vulgar elements, and are sometimes too vulgar. However, movies were initially considered as vulgar things, and were invented to meet the entrainment needs of the masses. It is difficult to completely remove vulgarity from movies. At the same time, a movie cannot just rely on vulgarity to achieve box-office success.

Read the Chinese version: “三俗”电影票房为什么这么高

Source:People's Daily Overseas Edition , author: Liu Fan.
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