Headlines from China: What’s Next for Qingdao Studio After Wanda’s Exit?

What’s Next for Qingdao Studio After Wanda’s Exit?

In 2013, Wanda Group launched the Qingdao Movie Metropolis project as part of the company’s strategic plan to become a big player in the international entertainment industry. The launch ceremony was attended by Hollywood stars, such as Nicole Kidman and Leonardo DiCaprio, as well as local stars, such as Zhang Ziyi and Zhao Wei. However, this year, Wanda signed a deal with another Chinese real estate giant Sunac China to let Sunac take over Wanda’s 13 cultural and tourism projects, including the newly opened Qingdao Movie Metropolis. According to sources familiar with the matter, Sunac has rolled out initiatives to eliminate the “Wandaness” of the studio. The name of the studio will likely be changed soon. According to local business owners and entertainment industry professionals, Sunac has been spending more efforts selling properties around that area rather than enhancing the management of the studio. It remains to be seen if what Wang Jianlian envisioned for the studio will ever be realized. Read more on entgroup.cn

‘A Dog’s Way Home’ Scores China Release

A Dog’s Way Home, an upcoming American family drama film based on Bruce Cameron’s book of the same name, has scored a January 18 China release. In North America,the film will be released on January 11. Directed by Charles Martin Smith, he film follows a dog who travels more than 400 miles to find her owner. It’s worth mentioning that the 2017 film A Dog’s Purpose is written by Bruce Cameron as well.  A Dog’s Purpose earned $188 million worldwide with $88 million from the China market. Alibaba Pictures provided promotional support to A Dog’s Purpose and co-financed A Dog’s Way Home. Read more on Mtime

Local Films Make Up Only 20% of This Year’ s New Year Slate

Since 2011, the New Year season has been considered as one of the four most lucrative cinematic seasons in China along with the Spring Festival, summer season and the National Day holiday. However, more and more blockbusters and highly anticipated movies choose to release during the Spring Festival instead of the New Year, as many local governments discourage the celebration of Christmas plus people only one day off for the New Year. This year, the new year season is especially weak compared to previous years. Due to a weak domestic slate, which accounts for only 20% of the total slate, the film bureau allowed more Hollywood movies to release during this year’s new year season. Although Aquaman lived up to expectations, the overall December box office has decreased year-over-year. Read more on entgroup.cn