Cinema screens in China are now being overrun by audience text messages
Remember when you used to catch a movie when you wanted a stress-free day or you just felt like unwinding on the weekends? Not anymore! In Chinese cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, cinema goers are being encouraged to text during movies, with their messages being displayed across the actual movie screen for the whole world to see.
The trend actually comes from Japan and is known as ‘Danmaku’ or sometimes, ‘bullet screens’. And get this: reports say that films offering this service see attendances of between 80 and 90 percent. Imagine a fullhouse at the movies. Now imagine a fullhouse of texters, and a movie screen full of messages.
But why, people? Why pay good money to see a film and then spend the time texting? The New York Times investigated and came up with the only reasonable answer: ‘While comments can be so numerous that they obscure the entire screen, many “bullet screen” proponents say the point is often not to watch the actual video in any case, but to get together and “tucao,” Chinese for “spit and joke around,” about the silliness of the video’.
‘Danmaku’ action begins at 0:18: