‘Deepwater Horizon’ Secures November 15 China Release

In another last-minute addition to the autumn release schedule, Deepwater Horizon will arrive on Chinese cinema screens November 15. 

Deepwater Horizon (深海浩劫), Lionsgate’s disaster drama, has secured a Chinese cinematic release for November 15.

The drama about the deadly 2010 explosion of the BP-operated, offshore drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico that killed 11 and caused millions of gallons of oil to spill, joins a slew of other Hollywood blockbusters given last-minute release dates in China this autumn.

Those dates were rejigged on Tuesday when Warner Bros.’ Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (神奇动物在哪里) was moved from its day and date North American release on November 18 to November 25, when it will go head-to-head with Disney’s Moana (海洋奇缘).

Warner Bros.’ own disaster movie based on true events, Sully (萨利机长) was also moved from its original November 29 date to December 9.

Mark Wahlberg, the star of Deepwater Horizon, made the announcement about the film’s China release via a video recording released to Chinese media on Wednesday.

“Hello everybody, I’m Mark Wahlberg. You may know me from Transformers or my movie Ted. But you’ll be seeing me next in Deepwater Horizon. The movie was inspired by true events of the tragic Gulf of Mexico oil spill,” the actor said.

Deepwater Horizon is opening in China soon and we can’t wait to see you all in theaters. Xiexie (thank you in Mandarin).”

The announcement is not a total surprise as local media have been speculating whether Deepwater Horizon (深海浩劫), or Lionsgate’s Mel Gibson-directed war epic Hacksaw Ridge (血战钢锯岭) would get releases.

Other Hollywood films already with releases in November and December include 20th Century Fox’s Keeping Up with the Joneses (邻家大贱谍) (Nov. 8) and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (佩小姐的奇幻城堡) (Dec 2), Paramount’s Allied (间谍同盟) (Nov 23), Disney’s Doctor Strange (奇异博士) (Nov 4), and Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (比利·林恩的中场战事) (Nov 11).

China Exceeds Quota on Hollywood Films amid Box-Office Slowdown

The flurry of new announcements comes as China appears to have relaxed its strict foreign film import quota in the final months of 2016 in order to bolster sagging annual box office growth figures.

Deepwater Horizon’s release came just a couple of days after a blast ripped through a residential building in Yulin, Shaanxi province, killing at least 14 and injuring around 150.

It’s conceivable Chinese authorities would look favorably on giving a slot for a film that can remind audiences that major catastrophes happen outside China too. Monday’s blast was the latest in a series of large-scale industrial accidents that have rocked the country in recent years.

On Aug 12, 2015, two massive explosions ripped through a hazardous chemicals warehouse in the northern port city of Tianjin, killing more than 170 people and destroying residential buildings near the epicenter.