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Censoring takes 3D 'Titanic' fun out for Chinese

China,Cinema/Showbiz,Science/Tech, Wed, 11 Apr 2012 IANS

Beijing, April 11 (IANS) While moviegoers flocked to cinemas in China to see the latest 3D version of James Cameron's epic movie "Titanic", many said they were disappointed that they could not see it all due to censorship cuts.


Three cinema theatres in Beijing were packed for the movie's debut screening Tuesday, despite the high ticket price -- 150 yuan ($24) -- and the inconvenient midnight hour of the screening.


"It is expensive, but tickets still sell out. People just prefer to watch movies like this," Liu Hui, manager of a cinema hall, told Xinhua.


Even outside Beijing, screenings of the film in 3D cinemas in other large cities sold out days before the movie was released.


"I have watched Titanic seven or eight times. I'm here for the story rather than the visual effects. It's such touching love story," said 27-year-old Liu Jianwen, who lined up with his girlfriend for tickets outside a cinema in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia.


The 1997 movie was based on a tragic love story that takes place on board the doomed British liner, which sank in the north Atlantic on its maiden voyage in 1912 after hitting an iceberg.


The movie was a phenomenal success globally, and grossed 360 million yuan ($57 million) when it entered the Chinese market in 1998.


A ticket to see the "Titanic" at that time cost 25 yuan.


Still, despite the special effects, and reworked footage, many fans were disappointed.


Some were upset about missing out on the romantic but controversial scenes in which Kate Winslet posed nude for sketches. Internet forums and microblogging sites were abuzz with criticism of the censorship.


"I've been waiting almost 15 years, and not for the 3D icebergs," said a post.


Cinemagoers said censors had allowed the movie to be screened uncut back in 1998.


However, an online survey conducted by microblogging site Sina Weibo, 73 percent of those polled said the movie was "great". Only 12 percent expressed dissatisfaction.


"'Titanic' shows us what love is about. Many people nowadays pay too much attention to material wealth, especially on who they should marry," said Qi Lunna, a university professor.


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