Artificial Snow in Cinemas Leaves Some Viewers Cold

Theatrical screenings of hit film Shining for One Thing feature artificial snow in a key scene, but quality varies greatly

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4:00 PM HKT, Fri January 5, 2024 1 mins read

The film Shining for One Thing debuted on December 30, 2023, its first-day box office intake soaring past 400 million RMB. Two days later it would also top China’s New Year’s Day box office chart. Based on a TV series of the same name, the movie reprises a famous snow scene from the original. This has inspired cinemas to stage indoor artificial snowfalls, which have garnered attention online — and not because they are all high quality, immersive experiences.

The film features Qu Chuxiao and Zhang Jianing as leads Zhang Wensen and Lin Beixing, respectively. Lin Beixing’s line “Zhang Wansen, it’s snowing” was a fan favorite in the original drama, and it has now inspired the movie’s snow scene.

However, audiences’ experiences with the snow scene have been varied. In some screenings, artificial “heavy snowfall” filled cinemas due to differences in equipment, leaving viewers covered in fake snow. This has lead to topics like “awkward snow scene” and “Zhang Wansen, it’s snowing heavily” trending on Weibo and Xiaohongshu.

One Weibo user (知名少女娱鬼鬼) humorously commented, “The one line ‘Zhang Wansen, it’s snowing,’ left the cleaning staff overwhelmed, while I worried about my outfit getting buried under the snow.” Other netizens remarked, “This snow is just too outrageous.”

Shining for One Thing Snow Scenes

More snow scenes, via Xiaohongshu.

While some criticized the excessive snow, others found it added a celebratory and fun element. Another Weibo user (来一碗安利) played with the key line of dialogue, joking that if in the show “Zhang Wansen, it’s snowing” means “I miss you,” then “Zhang Wansen, there’s a blizzard,” must mean you miss someone even more.

These snow scenes were part of a unique promotional move. Shining for One Thing launched with 1314 special snow scenes across 1314 cinemas at 13:14 on its release day. Ticket holders for these screenings were to receive custom artificial snow cans and character cards. However, due to safety concerns most theaters replaced the snow cans with snow machines, and in Chengdu, some cinemas created snow outside to avoid dirtying their interiors.

Not all movie theaters followed the call for snow scenes. Before the movie’s release, Wanxiang Cinemas announced on its Weibo that, in order to effectively ensure audience and property safety, it had decided to cancel special snow events for Shining for One Thing.

Cover image via Xiaohongshu.

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