Japanese Distributor Delays 'Aftershock' Release After Sendai Quake

Courtesy of China Film Group

The hit Chinese film was due to reach cinemas in Japan March 26.

BEIJING – Japanese distributor Shochiku is expected to delay the release of Aftershock to Japanese movie cinemas in the wake of Friday’s deadly earthquake, a spokesperson for Huayi Brothers Pictures, producer of the hit Chinese disaster film, said on Monday.

The 2010 Feng Xiaogang film was set for release across Japan by Shochiku on March 26, Lana Peng, a Huayi spokeswoman said. “It was going to be a big release, but now we’re not at all sure this is the right time to put it out. We’re waiting to hear what Shochiku decides to do.”
A devastating March 11 temblor measuring 8.9 on the Richter Scale collapsed buildings all along Japan’s northeast coast near Sendai, spawning a tsunami that then buried and swept away the wreckage in a giant wall of debris-laden seawater. At least 10,000 Japanese are missing and presumed dead.
Feng’s Aftershock depicted the devastating 1976 Tangshan earthquake, which killed about 250,000 Chinese, in the giant screen Imax format and to tear-jerking effect. The film also dealt with the 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake in Sichuan Province, which killed nearly 80,000.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Monday said China would aid Japan’s recovery and had sent a rescue team and relief supplies to its Asian neighbor on Sunday.
Last year, Aftershock sold nearly $100 million in tickets in China, briefly becoming the highest-grossing homemade hit of all time.