TOP STORIES: Is Hollywood's China Pandering Doomed to Fail? on November 22, 2013
Rupert Murdoch’s Star Chinese Movies Channel is front and center at film gala. [Bloomberg BusinessWeek]
A Touch of Zin getting the silent treatment from official channels. [The Economist]
Is Hollywood’s China pandering doomed to failure? [U.S. News & World Report]
Ai Wei Wei’s return to documentary. [Indiewire]
UPDATED OVERSEAS: 'Gravity' Looking at $13.2M Haul in China as it Enters the Weekend ahead of 'Catching Fire' on November 21, 2013
Gravity is soaring in China. The sci-fi film's launch in the world's second biggest market came in higher than expected; Warner Bros. is reporting a $9.3 million cume for Gravity after only two days in Chinese cinemas. IMAX is accounting for $2 million of that figure with 123 screens currently playing the film. The total screen count for Gravity in China is of 5,854. Gravity is WB's top non-Holiday opener in the market.
Early figures are indicating a $3.9 million bump for Gravity, putting the film ahead of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire by a wide margin. Warner Bros. is currently estimating a $13.2 million 3-day cume for Gravity in the market.
Gravity has grossed a total of $293.6 million overseas and $535.4 million worldwide.
OVERSEAS: 'Gravity' Launches in China with $9M Haul on November 20, 2013
Warner Bros. recorded its biggest non-Holiday opening in China with the release of Gravity on November 19. The film soared to a $4.9 million premiere from 5,854 screens on its opening day.
Early numbers put Gravity at $4.2 million for November 20, giving Gravity an estimated $9 million take from its first two days in China. Gravity is currently reporting a $286.4 million overseas total with China being expected to be one of the film's leading markets. The film finished last weekend well above the $500 million global mark.
CHINA: 'Thor: The Dark World' Continues to Smash the Competition, Reaches $46.3M on November 19, 2013
Thor: The Dark World had a strong hold-over week in China, its first full week of release, finishing the week with a $24.93 million take. The film has now grossed a total of $46.25 million in the world’s second-biggest box office. The Thor sequel’s strong outing helped it surpass the $40.61 million earned by The Wolverine in China. China is the biggest overseas market for Thor: The Dark World, followed by Russia ($31.6M), the U.K. ($27.4M), and Brazil ($20.9M).
It only took Escape Plan two weeks in China to outgross its North American total. The Stallone/Schwarzenegger vehicle took in $13.25 million in its second week of release, reaching a $34.26 million cume and surpassing the film’s $24.1 million haul from North America. Escape Plan has now grossed a total of $78.6 million overseas with China responsible for 43% of that figure.
Red 2 enjoyed a $5.85 million debut in its first weekend in China. The action sequel featuring an all-star cast of veteran actors benefitted from its Chinese release to bump the film’s overseas cume to $83.9 million. The sequel is still a distance away from the original’s $103 million overseas haul and is unlikely to match it with only one major market, Japan, left in its release. The top overseas markets for Red 2 are South korea ($19.3M), Russia ($7.7M), and France ($5.4M).
Russia’s Stalingrad fell to the bottom half of the table with a $450K take in its third week. The WWII film has grossed a total of $11.52 million in China.
Top Ten Films in China:
China Lion to Release 'That Demon Within' in North America on November 15, 2013
November 13th, 2013 – Los Angeles, California – [For Immediate Release] China Lion Film Distribution announced today that it has acquired and will release Dante Lam’sThat Demon Within in the U.S. and Canada, as well as Australia and New Zealand. The film features Chinese stars Daniel Wu, who has been featured in over 60 films and has won Golden Horse Awards for acting (New Police Story) and directing (The Heavenly Kings), and Nick Cheung, who has starred in Lam’s previous film The Beast Stalker, which won him international acclaim, and who was nominated for a Golden Horse Award for his performance in Lam’s recently released highly-acclaimed Unbeatable.
That Demon Within follows a dutiful Hong Kong policeman who saves the life of a betrayed gang leader. The policeman joins forces with the gang leader, engineering a plan to shut the gang down, but soon finds himself on the run from the law, wanted for murder.
China Lion Film will release That Demon Within in major metro areas throughout both North America and Australia and New Zealand, continuing the trend of releasing Lam’s films day-and-date with China; specific release locations and dates will be announced. China Lion Film Distribution previously released Lam’s The Viral Factor, starring Jay Chou and Nicholas Tse, which stands as one of the company’s most successful films. Dante Lam has also directed numerous other blockbusters, including The Twins Effect and The Beast Stalker, both of which made him a household name throughout Asia.