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What fresh Hell is this? Chinese theaters test onscreen texts during movies

08.19.2014

We can’t really be losing this battle can we? Are the self-entitled jerks who text and talk during a movie actually pulling ahead? Now China has picked a side, and sadly it’s not the majority. Chinese movie theaters are testing and refining systems that allow theatergoers to text during movies and actually see those texts on the screen. Like you, I read this and started looking for The Onion or Nathan Fielder to be involved; alas this is real. “Bullet screens” will pop up over the movie you’re watching.

Can you even imagine? Forget being annoyed by the bright light off someone’s cell phone, you can now read their witty and insightful texts on screen! This can’t be a sign of the times; there is no argument FOR this. Again, and we have all been asking it for years, why can’t people go 90 minutes without touching their cell phone?

According to The Hollywood Reporter (via China Youth Daily):

The inspiration behind the idea appears to be that it mimicks that of watching a movie on mobile media, which is how most Chinese people watch films, with people sending messages about what they like or dislike about the movie.

There is even a quote from LEGEND OF QIN director Shen Leping who I suggest may have been under the influence of hired goons here:

“We are exploring how the response from the audience can affect the movie itself… We are, in fact, putting the director and viewer on equal terms, and I think many of the opinions of the viewers are very helpful for film makers.”

I can only hope this nightmare doesn’t come to North America. I wouldn’t want to go see a movie only to have @FilmDude69 tell me that he wants to bang the actress on screen. Or @BobCinemaSnob tell me I just witnessed a Hitchcockian style MacGuffin. Just take me now. The days of a relaxed movie viewing experience will soon be something we tell our kids about.

What do you guys think, is this is a losing battle?

NSFW classic:

Source: THR

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4:35PM on 08/20/2014
"“Bullet screens” will pop up over the movie you’re watching."

Well, nothing could possibly go wrong with that idea, could it?
"“Bullet screens” will pop up over the movie you’re watching."

Well, nothing could possibly go wrong with that idea, could it?
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+0
4:24PM on 08/20/2014

Could be fun if u chose this option

This could be fun, there's so much shite out there and comedies that aren't funny sitting seeing a bunch of texts slagging off the movie could be more entertaining than the actual movie. As long as u know u are going in to it, and u realise there is going to be things obscuring your viewing leasure, just like 3D
This could be fun, there's so much shite out there and comedies that aren't funny sitting seeing a bunch of texts slagging off the movie could be more entertaining than the actual movie. As long as u know u are going in to it, and u realise there is going to be things obscuring your viewing leasure, just like 3D
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+2
3:40PM on 08/20/2014

Might work in China...

or some other bizarre place in the world, but it won't work in the US. Especially in any area I inhabit. Over the years I've cursed at, yelled at, embarrassed, harassed, and nearly fought anyone in any theater that was either talking, texting, or generally behaving like a jackass. I will continue to do so even if this THING became a commonplace experience.
or some other bizarre place in the world, but it won't work in the US. Especially in any area I inhabit. Over the years I've cursed at, yelled at, embarrassed, harassed, and nearly fought anyone in any theater that was either talking, texting, or generally behaving like a jackass. I will continue to do so even if this THING became a commonplace experience.
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12:58PM on 08/20/2014

DarTH VADER says

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
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12:43PM on 08/20/2014

It won't be long before some troll puts a dick pic on the screen.

It's perfect to troll...a screen big enough for a whole massive audience, in real life, watching! Tyler Durden's going to make a comeback...
It's perfect to troll...a screen big enough for a whole massive audience, in real life, watching! Tyler Durden's going to make a comeback...
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12:29PM on 08/20/2014

Stupid Humans

It doesnt matter. We'll be at war with China, Russia and Isis any day now. Fuck it.
It doesnt matter. We'll be at war with China, Russia and Isis any day now. Fuck it.
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1:00PM on 08/20/2014
deal with your economy problems first
deal with your economy problems first
4:31PM on 08/20/2014
That's what a war economy is for.
That's what a war economy is for.
11:09AM on 08/20/2014
Ya know, it's bad enough that a 45min tv show has 15min of commercials, but they also now have pop up ads DURING the tv show. So, no matter what we do, we get a commercial or ad for something constantly instead of being left alone to enjoy the show.
You tack on texts in theatres DURING the movie, you will KILL the cinema experience. Already people are put off with high prices and the 3D nonsense, (though some do like the 3D, granted) but as a whole, giving people the ability to have their
Ya know, it's bad enough that a 45min tv show has 15min of commercials, but they also now have pop up ads DURING the tv show. So, no matter what we do, we get a commercial or ad for something constantly instead of being left alone to enjoy the show.
You tack on texts in theatres DURING the movie, you will KILL the cinema experience. Already people are put off with high prices and the 3D nonsense, (though some do like the 3D, granted) but as a whole, giving people the ability to have their phone on and share their conversations DURING the movie won't drive sales up, at least not in Canada when we advertise shutting your phone off for the entire movie.
If this is how China wants to do it, I feel bad for them. This will likely NEVER happen here and if it does somehow manage to make it here, I'll never go to a theatre again and I will pirate films instead of buying the DVDs and such. Hurt the market, if this is how they want to respect the peoples viewings of movies.
It's bad enough TV and Youtube is full of interfering ads, tossing this bullshit in theatres is certainly gonna do more damage than good.
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+1
9:45AM on 08/20/2014
I'm not sure if I should be red or green...I agree with the author that this is a bad idea...ANYWAY, I can't stand it when people talk about the movie while I'm watching it. I would stop going to movies all together if this were to come to my neck of the woods.
Maybe I hate people too much?
I'm not sure if I should be red or green...I agree with the author that this is a bad idea...ANYWAY, I can't stand it when people talk about the movie while I'm watching it. I would stop going to movies all together if this were to come to my neck of the woods.
Maybe I hate people too much?
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9:11AM on 08/20/2014
Dumb. At first I thought what bealzf said that it was to deter people from texting. Shit I say straight up put cell phone jammers in movie theaters
Dumb. At first I thought what bealzf said that it was to deter people from texting. Shit I say straight up put cell phone jammers in movie theaters
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7:48AM on 08/20/2014
Like I care what some asshole sitting beside me in a theater thinks about the movie. And then you'd have the 13 year old boys texting the word "penis" every thirty seconds too. What a fucking terrible idea.
Like I care what some asshole sitting beside me in a theater thinks about the movie. And then you'd have the 13 year old boys texting the word "penis" every thirty seconds too. What a fucking terrible idea.
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7:47AM on 08/20/2014

This will kill cinema

This idea will stop some from going to the cinema and will probably increase piracy. At best, maybe theaters will have designated screens for such bullshit. Screening will have Subtitles for the deaf, AD for the ill sighted and then Texting for the ignorant.
This idea will stop some from going to the cinema and will probably increase piracy. At best, maybe theaters will have designated screens for such bullshit. Screening will have Subtitles for the deaf, AD for the ill sighted and then Texting for the ignorant.
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7:21AM on 08/20/2014
I'm totally against this but...

Imagine if they used this technology for an interactive movie, for example; if they did it with Choose Your Own Adventure and everyone had to vote for what happened at certain points and the film would deviate off what the audience choose.
I'm totally against this but...

Imagine if they used this technology for an interactive movie, for example; if they did it with Choose Your Own Adventure and everyone had to vote for what happened at certain points and the film would deviate off what the audience choose.
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9:48AM on 08/20/2014
total technology overkill for a choose your own adventure voting scheme
total technology overkill for a choose your own adventure voting scheme
5:59AM on 08/20/2014
How does the cinema intercept personal texts to be able to put them on the screen?
There is no excuse for texting during a movie. If you have an issue so urgent that you need to communicate with someone, you shouldn't be seeing the movie in the first place.
How does the cinema intercept personal texts to be able to put them on the screen?
There is no excuse for texting during a movie. If you have an issue so urgent that you need to communicate with someone, you shouldn't be seeing the movie in the first place.
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5:12AM on 08/20/2014
Texting during the movie? I really dont fucking care. If they arent making any noise, have their screens dimmed down, and I can't see them, why should it bother me? But yeah this idea would cross the line
Texting during the movie? I really dont fucking care. If they arent making any noise, have their screens dimmed down, and I can't see them, why should it bother me? But yeah this idea would cross the line
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3:59AM on 08/20/2014

Oh great......

......so now douchebag trolls can attend movies and announce plot spoilers at the start of the movie. Thanks for that.
......so now douchebag trolls can attend movies and announce plot spoilers at the start of the movie. Thanks for that.
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-1
2:47AM on 08/20/2014

Some China info

This could be fun, in a mystery science theater way. At first I thought this was to prevent texting, like ur text would go up and you would be embarassed. I studied in China for 6 months, and it's a large country that's realllllly more diverse than just northern and southern accents. Locals said that they can't even understand the dialect of other regions, and the culture is radically different, so I can't speak for all of China. I can speak for some parts though, and what I have to say for
This could be fun, in a mystery science theater way. At first I thought this was to prevent texting, like ur text would go up and you would be embarassed. I studied in China for 6 months, and it's a large country that's realllllly more diverse than just northern and southern accents. Locals said that they can't even understand the dialect of other regions, and the culture is radically different, so I can't speak for all of China. I can speak for some parts though, and what I have to say for those areas is: Chinese people don't go to the movie theatre. Where I stayed (and it's been ab 7 years so this is a rough estimate and I'm sure $ rates have changed - but I don't know if it has been for better or worse) the average citizen was making about $100-150 worth of American $, which is like $700-$800 RMB. That is poor, no doubt about it, but most things are also cheap. They work loooong hours too. So in this area (Harbin), and for these people, it makes absolutely no sense to go to the movies and pay 20-40 RMB when they can go and buy and own the film for like 5 RMB. Only on a special occassion would they go. I went to the theater there once with some other white foreigners - I think Shooter was playing - and it was only white people there, and not many (there's a lot of Russians in the area). Also, people say cultures are different, and ones not better than the other. But I had a very hard time while I was there trying to figure out the logic to their culture (not to say there's some good stuff there). In that area, they really aren't taught to be considerate of others. They don't try to avoid blowing smoke on you, they do things like stopping at the top of the escalator to text (no spatial awareness at all), and even do things like spit on the floor at restaurants. I'm not talking like spitting out a bad taste, but hocking up a lugey right on the floor. I feel like I can prove that cultural habit is rude, barbaric, and unsanitary. Anyway, the entire argument that Hollywood makes ab the $ they lose on pirated movies is BS, bc if pirated movies WERE done away with some how, these people just wouldn't go to the movies. They can't afford it.

However, with that said, I did go stay in Shang-Hai for a couple weeks, which obviously still has British culture instilled in it. It's much different. I went and watched Spider Man 3 there at an IMAX, like opening weekend, and it was PACKED, but I'm not sure how many of those people were tourists. There's LOOOOTS of them there of course, but the people who life in Shang Hai have to be rich
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10:04AM on 08/20/2014
Very interesting, thanks for sharing your experience! I went to Greece 3 years ago and was so surprised by how people there seemed to go to the movies not for the actual movie but rather to have a chat and just be with friends. They even cut the movie randomly in the middle so people can stretch their legs and buy some more popcorn (which is not a bad idea, just unexpected considering the movies we saw had intense scenes in the middle making the cut very brutal). It was actually harder to
Very interesting, thanks for sharing your experience! I went to Greece 3 years ago and was so surprised by how people there seemed to go to the movies not for the actual movie but rather to have a chat and just be with friends. They even cut the movie randomly in the middle so people can stretch their legs and buy some more popcorn (which is not a bad idea, just unexpected considering the movies we saw had intense scenes in the middle making the cut very brutal). It was actually harder to listen to the film than to hear all the chatting around us. And it's not about a few disrespectful people, it's just a big cultural difference. My Spanish brother in law who lives in India says it's the same in Spain and India. And I hear it's pretty much the same in Mexico and South America. I guess it's a very [link] thing! :P
1:21AM on 08/20/2014

Eeesh

The only possible way this could acceptable is if it's for a shit movie like a sharknado.

Just imagine how many texts of people saying 'I don't get it' or 'I bet he's the murderer'. People are only gonna write dumb shit or spoil it. Leave it for AMC movie marathons.
The only possible way this could acceptable is if it's for a shit movie like a sharknado.

Just imagine how many texts of people saying 'I don't get it' or 'I bet he's the murderer'. People are only gonna write dumb shit or spoil it. Leave it for AMC movie marathons.
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1:22AM on 08/20/2014
Pretty much everything common sense man said, now that I read back.
Pretty much everything common sense man said, now that I read back.
12:45AM on 08/20/2014
As we learned from big trouble in little china, the Chinese have a lot of hells!
As we learned from big trouble in little china, the Chinese have a lot of hells!
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11:44PM on 08/19/2014
Stay classy, Mainland China
Stay classy, Mainland China
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+4
11:28PM on 08/19/2014
I'm gonna have fucking nightmares.
I'm gonna have fucking nightmares.
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11:16PM on 08/19/2014
I can tell you that in the theatres where I come from, the Mainland Chinese nationals are always on their phones and iPads while the film is going and it is very aggravating. I take notes during films so I can put the reviews together later but make sure I use the dimmest of tiny lamps while I'm doing so.
I can tell you that in the theatres where I come from, the Mainland Chinese nationals are always on their phones and iPads while the film is going and it is very aggravating. I take notes during films so I can put the reviews together later but make sure I use the dimmest of tiny lamps while I'm doing so.
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10:49PM on 08/19/2014
It would be better if they had electrified seats that go off whenever someone uses their phone.
It would be better if they had electrified seats that go off whenever someone uses their phone.
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10:23PM on 08/19/2014

Welp what did you expect...

IT'S. FUCKING. CHINA, that same country who trys to kill people with tainted shit. btw that video was funny the end was amazing.
IT'S. FUCKING. CHINA, that same country who trys to kill people with tainted shit. btw that video was funny the end was amazing.
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10:16PM on 08/19/2014

Idiocracy

Well this was an eventuality. Seriously you can barely watch most network TV shows now a days without them having live tweets streaming across the screen, who gives a fuck!
This might be a cool homage to MST3k if they did this as a joke, and you knew ahead of time that this movie would offer this service.
But really, 90 percent of people could not make a witty comment that others would find funny if their life depended on it. Expect this to become immensely popular and continue the downward
Well this was an eventuality. Seriously you can barely watch most network TV shows now a days without them having live tweets streaming across the screen, who gives a fuck!
This might be a cool homage to MST3k if they did this as a joke, and you knew ahead of time that this movie would offer this service.
But really, 90 percent of people could not make a witty comment that others would find funny if their life depended on it. Expect this to become immensely popular and continue the downward slide of our society to the lowest common denominator.
If this comes to the USA it will sound the death knell for my movie going experience, as things sit now I rare go to the theater, this will kill it forever.
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9:36PM on 08/19/2014

I would get arrested....

For kicking everyone's ass who Texted at the movie.
For kicking everyone's ass who Texted at the movie.
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9:24PM on 08/19/2014

public humiliation? or live commenting about a movie during a test screening?

texts on screen aren't insightful and useful or helpful AFTER a movie is released...
Perhaps in test screenings only, the test audience can text what they think of the movie on screen, to ONE number, I dont think it's a good idea for my private posts to my girlfriend to be publically displayed on-screen, but if the director is looking for feedback from his film, he can get it instantly if the audience texts their comments to a certain number during the test screening.
texts on screen aren't insightful and useful or helpful AFTER a movie is released...
Perhaps in test screenings only, the test audience can text what they think of the movie on screen, to ONE number, I dont think it's a good idea for my private posts to my girlfriend to be publically displayed on-screen, but if the director is looking for feedback from his film, he can get it instantly if the audience texts their comments to a certain number during the test screening.
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9:22PM on 08/19/2014
Go fuck yourselves.
Go fuck yourselves.
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9:18PM on 08/19/2014
WTF??? There are two things that I absolutely despise when going to the movies: 1. people who talk during the movie 2. people who text or use their mobile phones during the movies. I know everybody nowadays tries to please the Chinese movie market but this is ridiculous. "opinions of the viewers are very helpful for film makers" - of course but can't they do this AFTER the movie ends, not during the movie? This is absolutely stupid.
WTF??? There are two things that I absolutely despise when going to the movies: 1. people who talk during the movie 2. people who text or use their mobile phones during the movies. I know everybody nowadays tries to please the Chinese movie market but this is ridiculous. "opinions of the viewers are very helpful for film makers" - of course but can't they do this AFTER the movie ends, not during the movie? This is absolutely stupid.
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+8
9:09PM on 08/19/2014
First my video stores go out of business, now this? This idea is pure crap. If it were up to me, theaters would have jamming devices to block all phone signals. I hate that people can't stand to go a whole hour and half without checking their damn phone. I feel lucky to have been born in the 80s when all this garbage didn't exist.
First my video stores go out of business, now this? This idea is pure crap. If it were up to me, theaters would have jamming devices to block all phone signals. I hate that people can't stand to go a whole hour and half without checking their damn phone. I feel lucky to have been born in the 80s when all this garbage didn't exist.
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9:19PM on 08/19/2014
If I were a movie theatre owner, I would add Ejector Seats as well. People who talk or text during the movies, prepare to be ejected!!
If I were a movie theatre owner, I would add Ejector Seats as well. People who talk or text during the movies, prepare to be ejected!!
10:07PM on 08/19/2014
oh man the video store... freaking technology these days, you can instantly pull up trailers on your phone.

i kind of miss the good ole days, when you just had to take a gamble on an obscure title at Blockbuster. all you had was a cover image to determine if it's worth watching.

and when you land on a lemon, you still sit through and watch it. because you paid for it and have to go all the way back to the video store to get something else.
oh man the video store... freaking technology these days, you can instantly pull up trailers on your phone.

i kind of miss the good ole days, when you just had to take a gamble on an obscure title at Blockbuster. all you had was a cover image to determine if it's worth watching.

and when you land on a lemon, you still sit through and watch it. because you paid for it and have to go all the way back to the video store to get something else.
12:14AM on 08/20/2014
Exactly! Sometimes you didn't know what you wanted to watch until you walked down the aisles and something grabbed your interest. Kids today will never have that fun Friday night experience..
Exactly! Sometimes you didn't know what you wanted to watch until you walked down the aisles and something grabbed your interest. Kids today will never have that fun Friday night experience..
3:03AM on 08/20/2014
Reminds of myself when I was a kid walking among the Horror aisles to just look at those video tapes' covers.
Reminds of myself when I was a kid walking among the Horror aisles to just look at those video tapes' covers.
9:03PM on 08/19/2014

他媽的!

Fuck off at even entertaining the idea. I wait to see a movie in theater maybe two or three times a year now because it sucks going. If this happened I'd never go back again.
Fuck off at even entertaining the idea. I wait to see a movie in theater maybe two or three times a year now because it sucks going. If this happened I'd never go back again.
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8:50PM on 08/19/2014
What do you expect from a communist society? Dumb ideas.
What do you expect from a communist society? Dumb ideas.
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8:48PM on 08/19/2014
This is the dumbest fucking thing I have ever heard of!
This is the dumbest fucking thing I have ever heard of!
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+4
8:41PM on 08/19/2014

No.

I will never pay for such a thing
I will never pay for such a thing
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8:40PM on 08/19/2014
Are you crazy? Is that your problem?
Are you crazy? Is that your problem?
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8:36PM on 08/19/2014

Worst idea ever

Seriously. This disgusts me to no end. This better not fucking happen in this country.
Seriously. This disgusts me to no end. This better not fucking happen in this country.
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8:34PM on 08/19/2014
Finally!
Finally!
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8:34PM on 08/19/2014
Wow, this world is slowly becoming ass-backwards.
Wow, this world is slowly becoming ass-backwards.
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