What China's Talking About Today: China Loves Titanic 3D

The highest grossing film in Chinese history makes a comeback.

titanic april11 p.jpg

A Chinese Titanic poster from the original release in 1998. Reuters

The 3D version of James Cameron's Titanic hit Chinese theaters on Tuesday. The 1998 original was the highest grossing film in Chinese history, though the theater release had to compete with widely distributed contraband versions.

China's then-president Jiang Zemin was such a fan that he urged fellow Communist Party leaders to see it. "I invite my comrades of the Politburo to see the movie -- not to propagate capitalism but to better understand our opposition, the better to enable us to succeed," he said. "Let us not assume that we can't learn from capitalism."

Successes such as Titanic have played a role in guiding the development of China's growing film industry. Shortly after Titanic's monumental success there, directors started producing big-budget, star-studded films for international consumption such as 2000's Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.

Chinese cineasts may not always love China's own foray into Hollywood-style big blockbusters, but the new 3D version of Titanic has already garnered a lot of attention. Only a day after release, well over 10 million micro-bloggers on Sina Weibo have discussed the film.

"I feel like the entire world is going to see Titantic 3D," wrote user Wang XiaoTuer Wants to be Free.

"Titanic 3D is so exciting, but after you've seen it once, you never want to see it again (crying emoticons)," wrote Guoguo's Chamber.

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Massoud Hayoun is a digital-news producer for Al Jazeera America.

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