The Guillermo del Toro-directed robots vs. monsters movie may be doing monster box office in China, but an officer in the People’s Liberation Army is no fan. “Hollywood has always been the best American propaganda machine,” wrote Zhang Jieli late last week in a PLA Daily op-ed about Legendary Pictures–Warner Bros‘ Pacific Rim. The PLA Daily is an official China military publication. “The decisive battle against the monsters was deliberately set in South China Sea adjacent to Hong Kong,” Zhang wrote in the editorial, published Friday. “The intention was to demonstrate the U.S. commitment to maintaining stability in the Asia-Pacific area and saving the mankind,” he claims. The wide-ranging piece, which also cites Fox’s Ice Age and the James Bond movies, says that Pacific Rim and other blockbusters are pushing “American values and global strategies”. While sidestepping the fact that all non-domestic movies in China need government approval to be shown there, it urges the Chinese military to steel themselves against the Western influence. “Soldiers should sharpen their eyes and enforce a ‘firewall’ to avoid ideological erosion when watching American movies,” Zhang warned. “More importantly, they should strengthen their combat capability to safeguard national security and interests.” Game site Kotaku first reported the op-ed. Other state media organs such as Xinhau and the People’s Daily quickly picked up the PLA Daily article.
Pacific Rim opened in China on July 31 on 5,700 digital 3D screens, 117 3D IMAX screens and 22 China Film Giant Screens. The sci-fi actioner hauled in a record-breaking $9 million when it opened — a new high for Warner Bros in the country. To date, Pacific Rim has brought in $106.2 million in China.