‘Lion’ Set for June 23 China Release

With Wanda distributing, the six-time Oscar-nominated film is set to get a second bite of the cherry after already earning US$139.8 million at the global box office.

The Weinstein Company’s Lion has scored a Friday, June 23, release date in China — seven months after its North American debut.

The news comes some three months after Chinese entertainment giant Wanda announced it was taking an equity stake in the Garth Davis-directed feature.

Wanda and The Weinstein Company previously collaborated on Antoine Fuqua’s Southpaw in 2014, which the Chinese company co-produced.

The film has grossed over $139.8 million at the global box office — with over $51.7 million earned in North America and over $88 million worldwide since its debut late last year.

Dangal, another tearjerker set in India that also had a long wait between its domestic debut and its China debut, has become the highest-grossing non-Hollywood foreign film in China.

Lion will receive an extra boost from being distributed by Wanda,  China’s leading exhibitor in terms of box office revenue.

Based on the memoir A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley, Lion was nominated for six Oscars: best picture, supporting actor (Patel), supporting actress (Nicole Kidman as his adoptive mother), cinematography, adapted screenplay, and music.

It was made on an estimated budget under $20 million and filmed on location in India and in Australia, where it received generous tax rebates.

The film tells the true story of Saroo Brierley’s decade-long struggle to return to his family after he was accidentally separated from them as a toddler in the tiny Indian town of Ganesh Talai, and then adopted by a couple in Tasmania.