Postcard from...Beijing


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The Independent Online

The audience at the Lumiere Pavilions cinema in downtown Beijing appeared to love Iron  Man 3, amused by Robert  Downey Jr’s laconic humour  and cheering at his metal- suited character’s exploits on  the big screen.

The movie has set a new box office record in China, taking 130 million yuan (£13.57m) on its opening day and is on track for hefty revenues in the world’s second biggest movie market.

While Quentin Tarantino’s ultra-violent Django Unchained was taken off mid-screening to have some of its gore and nude scenes cut, the Chinese version of Iron Man 3 was the opposite, having an extra four minutes added in to boost the film’s resonance with audiences in the booming Chinese market.

But the reaction to the additional scenes added into  the Chinese version of the film was less than enthusiastic.

A piece of blatant product placement for a milk drink from Yili, an Inner Mongolia-based dairy, was greeted with guffaws.

And there was apparent miscomprehension at the  extra scenes featuring two  new characters, Dr Wu and his assistant, played by top Chinese actors Wang Xueqi and Fan Bingbing, respectively.

“There is no need for them. It’s like they wandered onto the wrong set. What is going on?” scoffed one viewer.  But the majority of the audience left  the auditorium happy.

More successful was a scene featuring television news footage which captured Iron Man showing off in front of the Forbidden City in Beijing.