NTDTV: Chinese City Names "Avatar Hallelujah Mountain"

The movie Avatar is breaking box office records in China. Its become the first film there to earn more than $100 million during its run.

Now a city in Hunan Province has officially renamed a local mountain, "Avatar Hallelujah Mountain."

The city of Zhangjiajie's website says the mountain was filmed by a Hollywood photographer in 2008, and claims it was the inspiration for Avatar's floating Hallelujah Mountains. Although director James Cameron has been quoted as saying the mountains were inspired by the famous Huangshan mountain range in Anhui Province.


Zhangjiajie's website says that tourism to the area will increase after the name change, and a state-run travel agency is already offering Avatar-themed tour packages.

But the name change was not without controversy. After an online backlash, local officials denied naming the mountain after the movie. One official told state-run China Daily that they were just protecting their mountain's "authority" and tourism brand.

It's not the first Avatar-related controversy in China. Last week, officials ordered theaters to pull the 2D version of the film to make way for a film about Confucius. It came after Avatars themes of cultural suppression and land seizure—issues considered sensitive by the Chinese regime—became major discussion topics among Chinese Internet users.