Three major Hollywood films have just scored China release dates: Universal’s The Fate of the Furious, Paramount’s Ghost In The Shell, and Sony’s Smurfs: The Lost Village.
The Fate of the Furious (速度与激情8), the eighth film in the Fast and Furious franchise, will open in China on Friday, April 14, in a day-and-date release with North America.
Ghost In The Shell (攻壳机动队) will open in China on Friday, April 7, one week following its North American release, and Smurfs (蓝精灵：寻找神秘村) will open in China on Friday, April 21, two weeks after its North American release.
The Fate of the Furious, the highly anticipated Vin Diesel-starrer, follows the record-breaking Furious 7, which hauled in US$390 million in China in 2015 — Hollywood’s biggest release ever there.
Chinese audiences can’t seem to get enough of Vin Diesel. Fate will be the fifth in the franchise to make it to cinema screens there as well as his 12th movie overall.
xXx: Return of Xander Cage, his latest film to come to China, and which also featured Donnie Yen, Kris Wu, and Tony Jaa has now earned a solid RMB 1.08 billion ($156.4 million).
Smurfs: The Lost Village, the third entry in the animated Smurfs film franchise is only the second one to make it to Chinese cinemas. The previous film in the franchise earned RMB 139 million ($20.1 million) in 2013.
Ghost In The Shell’s China release will no doubt come as a relief to Paramount as the film continues to take fire from social media users in the US over claims of whitewashing around the movie adaptation.
While one of Japan’s biggest stars, film actor/director Takeshi Kitano stars in the film, it was actually filmed in New Zealand and in Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Macau.
So far, Japanese and Chinese fans have shown little surprise or anger about the casting of Scarlett Johansson as Major Motoko Kusanagi in the adaptation and hopes are high that the film will do well in both Japan and China.