- Ape-man saga won’t open until two weeks after its U.S. debut
- Warner Bros. will team up with NGO Stop Ivory to raise awareness as part of its marketing campaign for the film
- Hollywood studio continues to eye bigger prey in China, having announced a 12-project slate in March
Warner Bros. The Legend of Tarzan (泰山归来：险战丛林), a new version of the ape-man saga, will open in China on July 19, over two weeks after its U.S. opening, the studio announced on one of its Chinese social media accounts on Monday.
The film will screen in 3D, IMAX 3D, and China Film Giant Screen formats.
Warner Bros. had hinted the film would get a cinematic release in the world’s second-largest film market when it released a video a week ago of Tarzan star Alexander Skarsgård wishing fans a Happy Dragon Boat Festival, celebrated late last week.
“Hello China. I’m Alexander Skarsgård, and I play Tarzan in the new film The Legend of Tarzan, which is packed with action, adventure and romance,” the Swedish actor said in the video.
“Stay tuned for more updates by following the official Warner Bros. Weibo and WeChat pages. Happy Dragon Boat Festival.”
As part of their marketing push, Warner Bros., Village Roadshow, and the filmmakers and stars of The Legend of Tarzan announced they would be teaming up with international NGO Stop Ivory in early June.
That decision could also boost its marketing efforts in China, where a ban on the ivory trade has become a clear priority of the government.
China and the U.S. agreed to impose “nearly complete bans” on the ivory trade in September 2015, and since then internal propaganda efforts against the trade have ramped up inside China.
Skarsgård and Australian co-star Margot Robbie are set to feature in an international Stop Ivory PSA, but it’s not clear if it will be shown in Chinese theaters or online in China.
Warner Bros. have big plans for the Middle Kingdom. In September last year, they created Flagship Entertainment with China Media Capital and broadcaster TVB to co-produce films. In March of this year, the company unveiled a slate of 12 movie projects to be made in China.
One of the first film’s off the block is expected to be the U.S.$150 million budget mega-shark actioner MEG starring Jason Statham and Fan Bingbing, and directed by Jon Turtletaub on March 2, 2018.