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Tag: China (1-10 of 10)

Johnny Depp's 'Transcendence' lands prime China release date

For a first-time director, Wally Pfister has landed one of the most coveted honors in the movies business.

No, not an Oscar — which Pfister already has for Inception‘s cinematography. Instead, Christopher Nolan’s go-to director of photography has nabbed a rare day-and-date release in China and the U.S. on April 18, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Moreover, the Chinese version of the film will be available in 3-D, while it will screen only in conventional 2-D theaters in the States.

This is a huge boost for Alcon Entertainment and Warner Bros., which co-produced the movie with China’s DMG. Many American blockbusters see their profits minimized by piracy in the gap between when they open in the U.S. and when they open in China, the world’s second-largest movie market. Last year, Iron Man 3, which was also co-produced by DMG, opened in China two days before it opened in the U.S., and it went on to become the Asian country’s second-biggest grosser of 2013, making $121.2 million. Fast & Furious 6, on the other hand, opened in China two months after it debuted in the U.S.; that film settled for $66.5 million.

Transcendence stars Johnny Depp as a brilliant artificial-intelligence futurist who becomes more than he ever dreamed when his consciousness is uploaded to the server. The film co-stars Rebecca Hall, Morgan Freeman, Paul Bettany, and Kate Mara. It’s Pfister’s first directing job after shooting seven of Nolan’s films, as well as Moneyball.

China's box office soared 27 percent in 2013

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The Chinese box office continued its remarkable evolution in 2013 — and it thrived thanks to Chinese-made pictures, not just Hollywood films. According to Chinese market researcher Ent Group, the country’s box office revenues reached $3.6 billion last year, up 27 percent from 2012′s $2.7 billion mark. China, which passed Japan in 2012 to become the second-largest movie market in the world, is now poised to surpass the U.S. by 2020 as the most lucrative film market on Earth.

Domestically produced pictures made up the majority of China’s revenues, accounting for approximately 59 percent of grosses. Action comedy Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons was the top-performing film of the year, grossing $207 million total. Only three Hollywood films finished in the Top 10: Iron Man 3 ($121 million), Pacific Rim ($115 million), and Gravity ($73 milion). Notably, all three spectacles made a special point of incorporating Chinese elements into their plots — whether by shooting additional action scenes in China, letting a Chinese fighter-robot punch a slimy kaiju, or by having Sandra Bullock reach a Chinese space station.
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'Hunger Games: Catching Fire' to open on 3,000 screens in China

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The Hunger Games will be catching fire all over the world in just a month. Lionsgate has announced that the second film in the franchise, Hunger Games: Catching Fire, will be released on more than 3,000 screens in China on Nov. 21. Consider the United States’ Nov. 22 release, tack on a 12-hour time difference, and China will technically get to watch Katniss stick it to President Snow in both dubbed and subtitled prints a day and a half early.

The China release adds to the more than 50 territories around the world debuting Catching Fire with day-and-date releases. “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire has become a truly global phenomenon, and its day-and-date release in this key territory further cements its status as a worldwide motion picture event of epic proportions,” said Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Co-Chairs Patrick Wachsberger and Rob Friedman, in a statement.

Lionsgate hopes to continue the success it has seen at the Chinese box office with films like Now You See Me, The Impossible and the first Hunger Games film, which earned about $27 million in China last year.

'Gravity' nabs coveted China release

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Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity, which is shaping up to be one of the fall’s biggest hits — as well as a major Oscar contender — will receive a major financial boost when it opens in China in November. The Beijing News, a Chinese government-associated newspaper, reported that the official Film Bureau had approved Gravity for release, a much-desired privilege since the world’s second-largest movie market maintains a quota on the number of foreign films. In order to promote their own homegrown movie industry, the Chinese government limits the number of foreign-made films to 34 per year. This late in the year, it was feared that all those slots were taken, but Gravity, a 3-D IMAX movie that features the nascent Chinese space program, reportedly made the cut.

China’s growing clout has been felt throughout Hollywood, as studios have gone to great lengths to make films that appeal to an Asian audience. Several tentpoles — like Michael Bay’s next Transformers movie — have arranged to be Chinese co-productions in order to guarantee a wide release in China. To appreciate what such placement is worth, Iron Man 3 grossed more than $121 million in China, and Pacific Rim earned more in China ($112 million) than it did in the United States ($102 million).

In Gravity, Sandra Bullock’s lost-in-space astronaut retreats to the Chinese space station after her space shuttle and the International Space Station are shredded by space debris.

China settles with Hollywood over withheld payments

The Motion Picture Association of America is celebrating a resolution with the China Film Group that will allow Hollywood studios to collect millions of box-office dollars that was being held back by the Chinese since last year. “The MPAA understands that the China Film Group stopped payments owed to MPAA studios in China pending resolution of the application of a new value-added tax (VAT) due to be implemented nationwide as of August 1,” said MPAA chairman and CEO Christopher Dodd, in a statement. “We are pleased to hear that the Chinese government has addressed the matter and all money due will be paid in full. It is our understanding that the payment process has recommenced.”

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China boosts 'Pacific Rim' chances for sequel, points to Hollywood's future

It’s August, the time of the summer movie season when blockbuster fatigue sets in after months of various monsters, aliens, robots, and comic-book heroes pounding audiences into numbing submission. This particular summer has been notable for several box-office disappointments — like The Lone Ranger, After Earth, Pacific Rim — that arrived with high price tags, high expectations, and big-name stars or directors. Each was conceived as a new franchise that could fill studio coffers for the next decade and each failed to live up to the hype for one reason or another.

Increasingly, though, American audiences don’t get the final say on whether these characters live to fight another day. The international market now represents nearly 70 percent of the global box-office, so if China, Russia, and Brazil team up to decide that Pacific Rim — which reportedly cost about $190 million but has only grossed $87 million domestic — gets a second round, it will be done. Yesterday, Guillermo Del Toro’s robots-versus-monsters spectacle opened to packed houses in China, earning an impressive $9 million in its first day in theaters there, according to Deadline. That raises the global box office for Rim to $227 million (if Warner Bros. and Legendary can get the Chinese Film Group to pay up), with the movie still slated to open in Japan, Spain, and Brazil. Should Rim finish in the the high-$300 million neighborhood — not an unreasonable goal — Del Toro should get an opportunity to bring his sequel ideas to life. READ FULL STORY

'Man of Steel' gets release date in China

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Superman is coming to China! According to an update from the country’s state-owned distribution agency website, Man of Steel will premiere in theaters June 20. The reboot is slated for a month-long release.

Star Trek Into Darkness opened May 28 in China and Keanu Reeves’ Sino-U.S. co-production Man of Tai Chi will debut July 5, so Man of Steel is in a prime position to dominate the Chinese box office for the first two weeks of its run, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Man of Steel will open in theaters in the Unites States June 14.

Read more:
‘Man of Steel’ 13-minute featurette features extended look at Krypton, Lois Lane, General Zod… well, everything — VIDEO
‘Man of Steel’ behind-the-scenes video features a look at the action scenes
‘Man of Steel’ trailer: Oh my Zod! — VIDEO

'Django Unchained' shut down by China on opening day

Django Unchained became Django Unscreened on Thursday as Quentin Tarantino’s violent slave-revenge saga was pulled from Chinese theaters on its opening day, with the importer blaming an unspecified technical problem.

The rare suspension order by China Film Group Corp. was confirmed by theater employees throughout China, and has led to speculation that the Hollywood film could have run afoul of Chinese censors despite weeks of promotion in the country.

Calls to the importer and to China’s regulatory agency, the State Administration of Radio Film and Television, were unanswered. The China office of Sony Pictures, which released the film, refused to comment.

Django Unchained reportedly cut some violent scenes and had already been cleared by China’s rigorous censors, who generally remove violence, sex and politically edgy content. With such an exacting system, suspension on a film’s premiere date is unusual. READ FULL STORY

Robert Downey Jr. on 'Iron Man 2' flaws, China fizzle -- EXCLUSIVE interview (Part 4 of 5)

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On the last day of postproduction work on Iron Man 2, I caught up with Jon Favreau over on the Fox lot. He was sick, haggard, weary, frustrated and emotionally singed. The movie was a grueling experience because the script was a work in progress (or perhaps a work in triage). Favreau told me he felt like El Cid that day, which has to be one the great quotes I’ve ever gotten from a filmmaker: “I feel like I’m finishing this one the way El Cid finished the war, strapped onto his horse by his men and sent into battle dead.”

Robert Downey Jr, who returns as the title star of Iron Man 3 this summer, says the experience of Iron Man 2 has echoed in the memory of Marvel Studios and he said this new installment won’t be making the same mistakes. This is Part 4 of our five-part interview with the movie star. Part 1 ran on Monday, Part 2 on Tuesday, and Part 3 on Wednesday. READ FULL STORY

Chinese censors allegedly cut large portion of 'Cloud Atlas'

Chinese censors have reportedly cut Cloud Atlas down from 169 minutes to 130 minutes, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“It sucks really,” Lana Wachowski said to the news agency China.org.cn about the fact that audiences in China will not see the full version in theaters. “But I believe you can watch the full version online,” she added. According the THR none of the film’s directors took part in the cuts.
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