Avatar is not just big among anthropologists (since one was consulted to help make the Na’vi credible) or even New York Times columnist David Brooks, but also people in China. The Wall Street Journal reports:
Just days after the Jan. 4 premiere of Hollywood blockbuster Avatar in China, the box offices across the country had gone beyond 100 million yuan (around $14.7 million), thanks to the enthusiasm of huge number of Chinese movie fans.
Science fiction is very popular in China, as I wrote in an earlier article. But another WSJ article about how netizens’ talk about this record-setting movie reveals another reason for Avatar’s popularity – a lot of people in China see themselves as the Na’vi – very much like the people who are being evicted so that Chinese land developers can make lots of money with new construction. (Here is one popular example, in Chinese)
Note that people are flocking into the theaters to see this movie – for now, not even the best home theater set-up can replace the 3D IMAX technology. This bodes well for the hopes of the movie industry, who don’t profit as much from the sale of DVD’s (or nothing, due to pirated DVD’s).