January May Be a Great Month for Hollywood Movies in China

The pre-Chinese New Year period could prove to be a profitable one this year for Hollywood, with six big releases in China.


January is sizing up to be quite a unique month for Hollywood films in China with five of six new releases being critical if not box office successes overseas.

For the first month of the year, normally the Chinese market serves as a dumping ground for foreign films that have bombed overseas and are bought, on the cheap, by local distributors looking to turn a modest profit.

Not so for this month. Besides Passengers, which comes in with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 31 percent, the other five films range from a low of 76 percent for Bridget Jones’s Baby to 97 percent for Kubo and the Two Strings.

Most surprising of all is the addition of Arrival (降临) which hits screens on the 20th. The cerebral sci-fi by French Canadian director Denis Villeneuve contains a China angle that isn’t necessarily complimentary.

Unlike The Martian, which portrayed the Chinese government as saviors (as the book it was based on did) the Chinese characters in Arrival are a little more nuanced.

There’s normally a lot to complain about when it comes to the quality of Hollywood films made available to watch on the big screen in China – this month ain’t one of them.

Here’s the full list of the January Hollywood movie releases in China:

Bridget Jones’s Baby (单身日记:好孕来袭)
January 1

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (星球大战外传:侠盗一号)
January 6
2D/3D/IMAX3D/CFGS (China Film Giant Screen)

Kubo and the Two Strings (魔弦传说)
January 13

Passengers (太空旅客)
January 13

Eye in the Sky (天空之眼)
January 13

Arrival (降临)
January 20

— A version of this article originally appeared on the Beijinger.