September 16, 2010 § 1 Comment
The hottest film in China at the moment is Aftershock, a movie about the devastating 1976 Tangshan earthquake. With a hot film these days in China comes a load of advertisements. After all, capitalism is capitalism, be it the U.S. or China. Here we’ve become inured, expecting to spend 20 minutes watching mindless ads and trailers before the real show begins. But Chen Xiaomei was neither inured nor forgiving. She went to see Aftershock at the Polybona Cinema in Xi’an. She settled in for the movie, but only 20 minutes later, after the audience had been subjected to 20 minutes of commercials and ads, did the movie begin to roll. Unhappy that there had been no warning or indication of any sort on the ticket that pre-movie ads would run for 20 minutes, Chen, a lawyer, filed a suit against the Polybona International Cinema and Huayi Brothers Media Corporation, the film’s copyright owner and distributor, claiming that her time had been wasted and that her freedom of choice violated.
Chen Xiaomei is demanding from the plaintiffs a refund of the $5 movie ticket, another $5 in compensation, and 15 cents for emotional damage. Chen wouldn’t seem to be looking to get rich over this case. Xinhua news reports that she’s also asking for a written apology and an agreement that the cinema now clearly write the advertisement times on it.
The People’s Court of Yanta District in Xi’an announced a week or so that it has accepted the case, but a hearing hasn’t been scheduled.