Disaster film Aftershock makes waves at Asian IMAX theaters

Scene from Aftershock
Scene from Aftershock

IMAX and Huayi Bros. Media, China’s largest privately owned media group, today released the opening weekend box office results for the Chinese-language film Aftershock (Tangshan dadizhen), directed by renowned film director, Feng Xiaogang (Cell Phone, The Banquet). Tangshan dadizhen was released on 12 IMAX screens in China and generated more than $640,000 at the box office, for a per screen average of approximately $55,000 for the opening weekend. Aftershock is the first mainstream Chinese film and the first mainstream commercial film produced and distributed by a studio outside of the U.S. to be digitally re-mastered into the The IMAX Experience. The film will open on three additional IMAX screens next month.

“Aftershock represents our first foray into non-U.S. language commercial films, and we are pleased that the opening weekend results were very successful,” said IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond. “The early results of this effort bode well for us, as IMAX explores converting other local content in China and elsewhere.”

Based on true events, Aftershock is an epic-scale drama that tells one of the most heart wrenching stories that took place during the 1976 Tangshan Earthquake in China, an event which cost over 240,000 lives.

When a mother is told by the rescue team that her two children are buried under the debris close to each other, and digging one out would result in further collapse of the wreckage on the other, she is forced to make the most difficult decision of her life. As the clock ticked away, she finally ended her struggle and chose to save the toddler son, but her heartbreaking decision was overheard by the little daughter. Deemed as a dead person, the young girl miraculously survived and was rescued after being buried under for days. Suffering from the emotional shock of the disaster and the painful memory of her mother’s choice, she refused to reveal whom she was. She was put up for adoption and later moved to the U.S., becoming a doctor as an adult. But shadowed by the traumatic experience in her childhood, she forever remained emotionally closed up. When the Sichuan earthquake takes over 80,000 lives in 2008, she volunteers to join the rescue team and returns to her homeland, China. As she witnesses the tribulations people go through when a natural disaster takes place, she finally unlocks the pain she had felt all these years and finds forgiveness. She finds and reunites with the mother she had parted from for over 32 years.

Aftershock depicts not only the fatal tragedy that is brought on by a natural disaster of great levels, but also the strength and courage that is demonstrated when we face extreme situations.

Check out the trailer from Aftershock below.

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