Critics voiced support for the extension of theatrical release of the Chinese blockbuster Mr. Six, saying it expressed Chinese filmmakers' wish to "make money without bending their knees".
Huayi Brothers Media Corporation, the film's production company, said on Wednesday that it will keep the movie in theaters for an extra month, until Feb 24, and lower the minimum ticket price to 10 yuan ($1.52) starting Jan 24 across the nation.
"It will give companies that want to produce good films more confidence to abandon the path to trash and learn from Mr. Six," said an approving Han Haoyue, a veteran film critic at Beijing Times.
Han said that Huayi Brothers is doing this to express their gratitude to the audience.
"Judging from their statement, the wording is sincere. And the 10-yuan price will not really generate box-office revenue," Han said. "The production company hopes to have more audiences watch the film."
Tan Fei, another critic who shared the news on WeChat the moment he saw it, said the move will allow more people who can barely afford full-price tickets to go into cinemas and watch a good domestic movie.
"I think the success of Mr. Six is ironic because of the so-called dominance of IP (intellectual property) and Internet Plus. Good movies as such should have an extension of their theatrical release. I feel that this will also lead people to pay more attention to originality," Tan said.
"From now on, all films should attach more importance to their quality, rather than focusing on the Internet buzz," Tan added.
Huayi Brothers said in its letter to all movie theaters in China that the success of Mr. Six reflects that Chinese moviegoers are "becoming more mature" and that the market is improving both in width and in depth.
Public statistics showed that Mr. Six had taken in 840 million yuan at the box office by Wednesday. Chinese blockbusters like Pancake Man and Monster Hunt have had similar extensions in the past.