This is one of the last new features that I’ll be adding to the site for the time being: News from a Strange Future is a look into Vera’s scrapbook containing “clippings” that she printed from the News Portal. Enjoy!

New VR Movie Takes Bollywood by Storm

Opening of the sci-fi action movie Portal Chase sees strong gains at the Box Office

Story by Adelina Macey

The opening of the Virtual Reality flick Portal Chase took movie goers on the ride of a lifetime this weekend, but those in the theaters weren’t the only ones taken on an incredible journey. Bollywood insiders who had predicted the movie was “too big, too expensive, and too campy” were stunned as the movie exceeded all expectations, taking in nearly half a billion viewers in the first weekend.

“It’s simply amazing to see the reception that the movie has received,” explained Carl Conrad, Manager of Intellectual Property for Virtual Adventures Ltd., the company that produced the film. “VR movies have been slammed in the media, but public interest is clearly there,” he added.

This isn’t the first virtual reality film to be released, but it is the first one to do so well. Previous VR releases were either over budget, underperformed at the box office, or were poorly received by critics. Early polls taken after The Horsehead Nebula Wars, one of the first VR movies released, showed that audiences had mixed feelings about the new technology. Many complained of headaches or discomfort caused by the VR system.

VR movies have also met with a significant amount of controversy. Three years ago, the release of one VR movie resulted in the death of a man with a weak heart condition. According to the coroner, the movie–a horror/thriller mystery that simulated a murder in graphic detail–“literally scared the man to death.” The family has filed a lawsuit against the producers of the movie, and the case is still pending.

Since then, public interest in the technology has exploded. Movie-goers looking for a thrill are more willing to part with their money for such an experience, especially since it is something they cannot easily replicate at home.

“Memory chips containing our movies have long been the target of piracy,” Carl Conrad said. “Pirates have figured out how to easily copy and distribute illegitimate copies of movies that everyone has worked so hard to create. Protecting the content is an ongoing battle that we intend to continue to fight. One of those ways is the new VR system, which provides a unique way for audiences to experience movies that no pirate can replicate.”

Due to the runaway success of Portal Chase, Bollywood insiders say that VR movies will soon become the norm.