Asura Chinese Movie Review: Most Expensive Non-English Film Bombed At Box Office

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asura review

Asura is the most expensive movie not in English, made on a huge budget of 113 Million $, which is more expensive than Netflix most expensive film Bright. There was a time when the Chinese Film Industry used to rule the North American market, Hero, Jet Li’s Fearless and Kung Fu Hustle are still the highest grossing Top 10 in the American market. By then there are no big hits from China or Hong Kong over the years.

In 2018, Detective Chinatown 2 Mandarin China movie which became one of the highest grossing films of 2018 so far. The Mermaid, Wolf Warriors 2 are big hits of recent time in China which are more familiar to western culture more than east. Which leads other Industry movies to dominate their market.

Indian films Secret Superstar and Dangal made over 100 Million $ unexpectedly without big promotions and even with clashing with other Hollywood and local movies. And the audience accepts these films because of its rooted culture in their films. In the last 5 years Bollywood and Tollywood including made over 500 Million USD with different genres which include films like Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Toilet Hero, Hindi Medium, Bahubali Film Series and etc. Bollywood Superstar now a very well known hero in the Chinese market and now he is a bigger brand then Marvel and DC.

Asura after being China’s first film with a budget over $100 million produced by a big Chinese movie company, the film was pulled from cinemas three days after release due to a disastrous box office return which is just of 7.3 Million United States Dollar.

Read10 Best Japanese Movies of The 2000s Must See At Least Once

Mandarin Movie Asura Crew & Details :

Original Title of Asura: A Xiu Luo

Director – Peng Zhang
Producer – Zhenjian Yang
Writer – Kirk Caouette
Screenplay Writer
Zhenjian Yang
Adam Chanzit
Music – Trevor Morris
Cinematographer: Patrick Murguia
Editor – Tommy Aagaard
Production Company
Alibaba Pictures
Zhenjian Film Studio
Ningxia Film Group
Release date: July 13, 2018
Running time: 141 minutes
Country: China
Language: Mandarin
Budget: $113.5 million
Asura Lifetime Box office: $7.1 million

Asura Plot Summary

The story is an epic periodic fantasy drama set in Asura, the dimension of pure desire according to ancient Buddhist mythology. The mythical realm is threatened by a coup from a lower heavenly kingdom and the story follows from there. Chinese actor Leo Wu in the role of Ruyi and Carina Lau has portrayed the lead title role of Asura, the king of Cunning.

Asura is the fifth big disaster in cinema history ever. Asura is just behind four Hollywood film King Arthur, Monster Truck, Sinbad and John Carter in disaster list.  Asura grossed 7 Million USD across the world so far, becoming the biggest loss for an Asian film and also as the biggest disaster Not in English.

Asura is been directed by Peng Zhang, who previously worked as a stunt coordinator of Ant-Man, Wonder Woman, Pixels, Kingsman etc. the direction of the film is very amateur which could meet up to Chinese film standard. The director has made many mistakes during shooting the film, and his experiences in working in Hollywood and Other International Film looks useless during the whole movie. Initially, Asura is supposed to be made as a trilogy, which is itself a week point of Asian Filmmakers.

Peng Zhang Other Works :

Wonder Woman (stunt artist)
Straight Outta Compton (stunts)
Ant-Man (fight coordinator)
Pixels (fight choreographer)
Kingsman: The Secret Service (fight arranger)
47 Ronin (fight choreographer) / (stunts)
The Wrath of Vajra (action choreographer)
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (co-fight coordinator)
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (co-fight coordinator) / (fight coordinator)
I Am Number Four (fight coordinator)
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (fight coordinator)
Kick-Ass (fight coordinator)
Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (fight coordinator)
Ninja Assassin (fight choreographer)
Hellboy II: The Golden Army (assistant stunt coordinator)
War (stunt double: Rogue – as Peng Zhang) / (stunt artist – )
Rush Hour 3 (additional stunt double: Jackie Chan – ) / (stunts)
Alien Agent (Video) (stunt artist)
In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (stunts)
The Tooth Fairy (Video) (stunt double)
X-Men: The Last Stand (stunts)
Transporter 2 (stunt player) / (wire technician)
The Pacifier (stunt ninja)
Blade: Trinity (stunt artist )
Blade of Kings (assistant stunt director) / (stunt double: Donnie Yen – )
The Chronicles of Riddick (stunt fighter)
The Last Samurai (stunt artist)
Starhunter (TV Series) (stunt artist)
Rebirth (3) … (stunt artist)
3 Bulletproof Monk (stunt double: Chow Yun Fat – ) / (stunt player)

The screenwriting of Asura is done by Zhenjian Yang, who is one of the producers of this expensive Chinese movie ever made. Zhenjian Yang is also written “The Wrath of Vajra” directed by Wing-Cheong is very badly response by audience and critics as well. Also, Asura’s screenplay is equally bad and direction made it more worst as they can. One more writer of Asura is Adam Chanzit who has written the English movie “Walden: Life in Woods” which released in 2017 with a mixed response from both moviegoers and media too. The film writing it looks China has very less of talents.

Reasons To Not To Watch Asura

The real reason for the failure of “Asura” is as follows: the film doesn’t meet up to expectation in terms of technical aspects, the production value of the film it might be fine as a Chinese film but a far way for the American market. Asura has very tacky special effects as most of the Chinese films do have. The film more looks like a B movie which made on a decent budget. Asura cast some of the newcomers which did not boost the film for star powers. Chinese big company Alibaba has produced the film on this much scale and giving it to a debutant director is a bad decision that was possible for Hollywood to made in just half of the budget.
The film has grossed very less than the expectation, the most prominent reason for the film promotion. The film was very badly promoted the film was announced a few years before, with some wallpaper stills, then most of us don’t know even the trailer was pitched among the audience. If at least the film marketed well at least it does twice or thrice or even more than its collection.

Asura Cast and Their Roles :
Lei Wu – Ruyi
Tony Ka Fai Leung – Asura King, Head of Desire
Carina Lau – Asura King, Head of Cunning
Yishang Zhang – Hua
Tiejun Wang – Tuka
Qi Dong – Qi Ya
Jiayi Feng – Shi Po Lo
Ming Dao – Doctor (as Ming Dow)
Matthew Knowles – Rawa
Joel Adrian
Derrick M. Brown
Joseph Castillo
Paul Philip Clark
Caitlin Dechelle
Jeannine Derbez

As we told you Asura is based on Buddhist mythology, Asura tells the story of a shepherd (played popular Chinese actor Leo Wu) whose mission is to protect the mythical desire realm from an attempted coup. The film’s producers hoped it would launch a major fantasy franchise which is very similar to The Lord of the Rings, according to the Hollywood Reporter. A publicity still for the film looks more like two people dressing up as Khal Drogo and Khaleesi from the HBO television series Game of Thrones aka popularly GOT for Halloween, these are really coincident or taken reference ia yet to confirm.

Weibo a Chinese social media platform in a post written that the film’s producers blamed the abysmal box office showing on sabotage, alleging that trolls flooded mobile-ticketing platform Maoyan with negative reviews. Maoyan, which is backed by Alibaba rival Tencent, has between a 30- 40% market analysts say. Ratings for Asura are much higher on the Alibaba-owned ticketing service Tao Piaopiao.

Even so, that apparently was not enough to make up for a poor review of the movie-going public: on the Chinese review site Douban.com, it got 3.1 out of 10. But from another movie rating site like Metacritic has rated 8.2 out of 10, which was told to be a paid. That was reflected in Asura’s opening box office which is a disappointing 49 million yuan ($7.3 million). That was a far smaller take of the till than another film, Hidden Man by Chinese director Jiang Wen, which opened the same weekend and took in $51 million with a positive feedbacks coming from the audiences.

A representative of Zhenjian Films told the Chinese news portal Sina that the decision to pull the film “was made not only because of the bad box office,” but “to make some changes to the film and release it again.”

List of Biggest Disasters in Film History :

The 13th Warrior
47 Ronin
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
The Adventures of Pluto Nash
The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle
The Alamo
Alexander
Ali 2001
Alice Through the Looking Glass
Allied
Around the World in 80 Days
The Astronaut’s Wife
Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever
Battlefield Earth
Beloved
Ben-Hur
The BFG
Blackhat
Blade Runner 2049

To be noted even there are movies on the list with a very negative response. There are also movies which released with good reception and still don’t make any money at the Box Office like The BFG and Blade Runner 2049. For sure Asura is not one of them.

The last words for Asura – “A painful drama of 2 hours 20 minutes which is spectacular in some visuals”

Hope you like our analysis of the Chinese Mandarin film Asura failures.

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