Are you sick of 3D? Chinese audiences are, literally. The most recent Bourne sequel, which was simply titled Jason Bourne, debuted in China this past Wednesday to opening day grosses that far exceeded any of the previous four films. But after two days in release, audiences in that country started to complain, claiming they felt exploited by the release and that it has left some physically ill. This is mainly due to the fact that Jason Bourne was primarily released in 3D in Chinese theaters.
Chinese fans of the Bourne franchise are complaining to the sequel's distributors in that country, claiming they are trying to capitalize on the higher ticket prices that 3D brings in. They don't feel the movie lends itself to 3D. Especially because a lot of the action is shot in director Paul Greengrass' signature hand-held style. This first-person perspective matched with the 3D is causing quite a few headaches and nausea amongst those paying extra to see the movie.
Universal Pictures' China branch and China Film Co. Ltd. and Huaxia Film Distribution Co. Ltd. are taking the complaints serious. And they are now scrambling to get more 2D versions of the film to China, according to Deadline. Two of the nations top film critics even wrote reviews that claimed the movie left them feeling 'dizzy'.
In China, when a film is sold in the 3D format, it can earn up to 33% more than the 2D version. And this is because the theaters hike-up the price of tickets. This has not gone over the heads of the ticket buying public, who are now accusing the distributors of being greedy at the fans' expense. In just two days, Bourne 5 has already earned $18.7 million in China.
Chinese distributors are more apt to release a film in that country in 3D because it helps keep pirates at bay. Of the 149 movie theaters in China's capital city of Beijing, which has 11 million citizens, there are only 8 theaters showing Jason Bourne in 2D. In Shanghai, only 9 of the 174 theaters have a 2D version. And those 2D versions of the movie are said to be located far way from the main hub of the city. One protester had this to say.
"The 3D version is a rip-off. It's been happening many times in China and must be stopped."
Chinese audiences have taken to social media to complain about Jason Bourne 3D. To help rectify the problem, and stop the loss of any money moving forward, Universal Pictures China has issued an official announcement that they are hurrying to get more 2D screenings into the country.