California In the latest Hollywooddisaster thriller San Andreas, a series of massive earthquakes — including the biggest in history— rip cities apart as high-rises fall, the earth shifts and a tsunami washes over San Francisco.
The action film, starring A-list actors Dwayne Johnson and Carla Gugino, opened in mainland theaters on Tuesday.
The first disaster drama released this summer season, it grossed 16.15 million yuan ($2.6 million) on the first day in the world’s second-largest movie market.
The movie made headlines in China, when Johnson, more familiar to fans for his wrestling name The Rock, sang the Chinese song Your Sweet Smile, by Taiwan legendary singer Teresa Teng, during his Beijing promotional tour on May 28.
Avoiding the simple cliche “nihao” (hello) — the opening gambit of many foreign stars at their China media events— the cast of San Andreas
collapsing! appeared more prepared to excite moviegoers on this side of the world.
In a one-minute trailer tailored for the Chinese market, Johnson asks in Mandarin, “Wo men yue ma?”, a popular network greeting literally meaning “Are we dating?”, to lure Chinese fans to the cinemas.
The former professional wrestler even won the title “the king of selfies” from local media, after he used a smartphone to snap portraits with more than 100 reporters. That was no surprise from Johnson, who recently set a Guinness World record by taking 105 portraits in three minutes alongside screaming fans at the film’s London premiere last month.
“I connect with fans around the world. The unique thing here for me is the reaction from Chinese China Daily.
He said that during his morning training in a Beijing gym, Johnson found all the Chinese fans simply quietly watched and waited until he finished exercising.
“It’s respectful. Only when I finished, it's like chaos,” says the superstar, smiling.
The 43-year-old actor achieved his first Guinness World record in 2002, whenhe became the highest-paid actor for a lead debut in The Scorpion King. He received $5.5 million for the action film.
Another highlight in San Andreas is Italian-American actress Gugino. Best-known for her role as Ingrid Cortez in the Spy Kids movies, Gugino reveals that her biggest challenge was “acting with a green screen”, as nearly 65 percent of the content, amounting to
tells 1,400 special-effect scenes, is based on computer-graphics technology.
“It requires a lot of imagination, even though we were given help by previews so we were able to see how big it might be.”
Trained to pilot a military speedboat to crash into a highrise and rescue her family, Gugino says the huge amount of stunts won her some kudos on the set.
However, despite The Rock’s global star power, Warner Brothers’ big-budget new title is getting mixed reviews from critics.
Set ina fictional disaster triggered by the rupture of the real San Andreas Fault, which extends roughly 1,200 kilometers through California, the moviecentersonthe reunion of a broken family after experiencing the mega disaster.