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China big-budget fantasy epic pulled after box office flop

SHANGHAI/BEIJING (Reuters) – A Chinese blockbuster hopeful backed by Alibaba Pictures Group and with a reported budget of over $100 million, was abruptly pulled from cinemas after a lackluster opening weekend at the box office.

The move highlights the challenges facing China as it seeks to promote home-grown productions to rival imported Hollywood films. Several big-budget Chinese films have flopped while more modest productions have done well.

The latest disappointment “Asura” was billed as China’s next big-budget film after 2016’s “The Great Wall”, a $150 million U.S.-China co-production starring Matt Damon. It also failed to impress at the box office.

Reporting by Adam Jourdan, Pei Li and John Ruwitch; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Darren Schuettler



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