‘Turtles’ Reboot, Wanda’s 1st Hollywood Bet, to Screen Late in China

  • The TMNT reboot will release in China one month after Paramount’s No. America release
  • Stephen Amell will help promote the film in China where he has a following for his role in Arrow
  • Amell is active on Weibo, where Chinese netizen fans call him “Sugar Brother.”
Popular in China for his role in Arrow, Stephen Amell will help Paramount promote the TMNT sequel

Popular in China for his role in Arrow, Stephen Amell will help Paramount promote the TMNT sequel

Paramount’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows—the first Hollywood film backed by real estate giant Wanda—will open in China on Saturday July 2, an official Chinese social media account run by the Hollywood studio said on Monday.

Though the reboot’s release into the fastest growing movie market on the planet will come one month after its North American debut, Paramount is enlisting marketing help from Canadian actor Stephen Amell who’s well-known in China on social media for his role as Oliver Queen in television’s Arrow.

The Ninja Turtles release news comes days after Movie Media Group, a subsidiary of Wanda Cinema Line, said it would co-finance the film, joining e-commerce giant Alibaba, which said it would back the Michael Bay production in April.

Previously, Wanda Cinema Line’s marketing subsidiary worked with Paramount on local marketing campaigns for the first Ninja Turtles movie, Transformers: Age of Extinction, and for Terminator Genisys. But the Ninja Turtles sequel is the first investment by the Wanda conglomerate in a U.S. studio film.

Paramount’s first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film grossed $63 million in China in the summer of 2014, out of a global total of $493 million. The new Ninja Turtles film will release in China on the heels of two other big Hollywood sequels: Finding Dory, coming from Disney on Friday, June 17 , and Independence Day: Resurgence, coming from 20th Century Fox, on Friday, June 24.

Alibaba Pictures, the film subsidiary of Jack Ma’s Alibaba Group, said in April it would invest in two Paramount films, the Ninja Turtles sequel and Star Trek Beyond. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Amell, who will play Casey Jones in the new TMNT movies, is active on the popular social media platform Weibo, where he is affectionately known to fans as “Sugar Brother.”  Amell’s Weibo account was operated by digital marketing company FansTang until at least April 13 after which he took over it personally.

Amell greeted his Chinese fans in a short video message on Weibo on April 20 and said he would be returning to China to promote the film. “I haven’t been managing this account. I’m going to manage it now. And I will see everyone soon, we’re going to be there for the Turtles premiere.”

Amell will be sharing the screen with Megan Fox, who is reprising her role as plucky reporter April O’Neil in Out of the Shadows. When the last Ninja Turtles movie came to China, Fox had to bow out of the film’s premiere due, apparently, to an “allergic reaction” to what many speculated was Beijing’s polluted air.

Her spot was filled by Chinese starlet Fan Bingbing, herself a big fan of the four fictional teenage anthropomorphic turtles. Fan has not appeared in any of the TMNT films.

Out of the Shadows will be screened in 3D, IMAX 3D, and CFGS (China Film Giant Screen).