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Audio news: High-budget film a failure

chinadaily.com.cn 2018-07-19 16:28

A movie poster of "Asura"

>High-budget film a failure
China's "most expensive movie ever made" is one of the biggest flops the world has ever seen. "Asura", an epic fantasy film with a $113 million budget from financiers including Jack Ma's Alibaba Pictures, was pulled from Chinese cinemas after its opening weekend, when it made just over $7 million. In a post on the Chinese social media platform Sina Weibo, the film's producers blamed the abysmal box office showing on sabotage, alleging that trolls had flooded the mobile-ticketing platform Maoyan with negative reviews. While morbid audience scores may have played a part in the film's failure, it's likely that poor marketing and unenthusiastic fan tracking contributed as well. "Asura" also opened against strong competition, including the comedy-drama "Dying to Survive", which made $69 million last weekend and has grossed over $350 million total. Many of the worst flops of all time are films similar to Asura - big-budget fantasy or sci-fi films that aren't tied to popular franchises or characters, and come across as knock-offs of more successful movies.


Bellhops chief executive Luke Marklin, right, gave employee Walter Carr his own car, a 2014 Ford Escape, after hearing about how he walked 20 miles to get to the first day on his new job.

>Man walks 22 km to new job
It was supposed to be Walter Carr's first day of work with a moving company Sunday when his car broke down. So he walked through the night to be on time. The young man began his hike from Homewood, Alabama, to the town of Pelham, Alabama, at midnight. He walked at least 14 miles before police picked him up at 4 am. Once police heard his story, they took Carr to breakfast. Then, they gave him a ride the rest of the way to the home of Jenny Hayden Lamey, who he was scheduled to help move that morning. Lamey shared the story of Walter on Facebook - the post quickly went viral. And word eventually got back to the CEO of the moving company, Luke Marklin. Marklin did a bit more than just thank Carr - he gifted Carr his 2014 Ford Escape.


People watch from a tour boat as lava flows into the Pacific Ocean in the Kapoho area, east of Pahoa, during ongoing eruptions of the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii, U.S., June 4, 2018. REUTERS

>'Lava bomb' strikes boat
A projectile from the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii struck a tourist boat carrying people watching lava from the two-month-old eruption, injuring 23, according to the local fire department. The incident happened on Monday morning local time. The lava bomb, or flying chunk of molten rock, left a large hole in the boat's roof. The volcano erupted in early May, sending a smoldering flow of lava into residential areas on the Big Island, damaging over 100 houses.


Davi Sobotta holds up her hands as she tries out a large tabletop fan at a Home Depot hardware store ahead of an expected heat wave in August, in Seattle. ELAINE THOMPSON / ASSOCIATED PRESS

>Global warming threatens 1B
More than 1 billion people are at risk from a lack of air conditioning and refrigeration to keep them cool and to preserve food and medicines as global warming brings more high temperatures, a study showed. More electricity demand for fridges, fans and other appliances will add to manmade climate change unless power generators shift from fossil fuels to cleaner energies, according to the report by the nonprofit Sustainable Energy for All group. The UN's health agency says that heat stress linked to climate change is likely to cause 38,000 extra deaths a year worldwide between 2030 and 2050.

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