Standoff in Box Office War Over Top Spot in Peak Season

2011-12-09 08:22:29        Global Times

Zhang Weiping (L),  CEO of New Pictures, and Yu Dong (R), CEO of Bona Film Group, are in standoff with each other.  

Bona Film Group, the producer of the big new-year holiday film 'Flying Swords of Dragon Gate', suddenly declared on Tuesday night that it will advance the movie's premier to 2 pm on December 15th, the latest move in the film's intense competition with another wannabe blockbuster, 'The Flowers of War', whose producer, New Picture Edko Films, announced several days ago that its premier had been adjusted to 6 pm on the same day.

On the surface, it seems like a regular battle between two film companies vying for the highest box office sales during the typically peak season, but the producers of the two films have quite the history. New Picture Edko Films and Bona Film Group have been piling up grievances against each other for years.

Zhang Weiping, president of New Picture Edko Films, in an interview with Dragon TV in Shanghai, told the audience not to go to a Bona-owned cinema to see The Flowers of War. New Pictures has banned all cinemas under the Bona Film Group from screening its new movie. "It's a punishment for Bona, since they used to delay payment of our box office earnings in the past," he said.

Responding to Zhang's criticism, Bona said they will only focus on professional film promotion and will refrain from retaliating.

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