Subscribe To Star Wars Just Pulled Out All The Stops To Get China Excited About The Movie Updates
I've already subscribed
You may have a read a story or 10 recently about how big a deal the Chinese box office is to Hollywood. Well, that doesn’t change even if your film has already sold every bloody ticket in the U.S. two months before it releases. China is actually significantly less familiar with Star Wars than most of the rest of the world, so a little PR is probably a good thing. However, Star Wars doesn’t do anything small, which is why, when it came time to begin to promote the The Force Awakens in China, Stormtroopers invaded The Great Wall.
The official premiere of the most recent trailer for The Force Awakens was on Tuesday evening local time, but it wasn’t broadcast on television. Why would you use so pedantic a medium when you have the largest man-made landmark in the world? The trailer was projected onto The Great Wall itself, and following the debut, an army of 500 Stormtroopers marched across the Wall. Deadline has the images, which are more than a little impressive.
For all the hype, The Force Awakens does not have a release date in China at the moment. The country goes through numerous periods throughout the year where black out foreign releases in order to be sure that native cinema doesn’t get overrun entirely, and December is one of those times. It will likely hit in January, and if past Hollywood success is prologue, it’s going to be big.
While Star Wars is a nearly global brand at this point, China is one of the few places that doesn’t automatically go crazy for lightsabers and Jedi. The original trilogy was never theatrically released in the country. In the late 1970s, China was still a very culturally isolated communist nation, so few western influences were ever allowed in. The movies actually had their first theatrical screening there only a few months ago, and when the prequels were released, they grossed less than $20 million combined, although even that was in a very different country. All six films are now available via Chinese VOD, so the saga is slowly seeping into the culture.
Watching 500 stormtroopers march across the Great Wall of China is probably more culturally symbolic than it is meant to be. Star Wars, and its parent, the Walt Disney Company, truly are invading pop culture on a global scale, and the saga will also receive an attraction at Disneyland in Shanghai. Still, it all shows how much Star Wars has become a global influence and is becoming a hit with fans all over the world. The Force Awakens premieres in the U.S. on December 18th, except for those showings on the 17th.