You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Horse’ wins China release derby

Sony feature the first film to break blackout

Sony’s “The Water Horse” looks set to be the first pic to break China’s blackout on foreign movies when it bows here on Feb. 16, a week before the previously announced “Atonement” on Feb. 22.

Industry sources said “The Water Horse,” a Loch Ness monster adventure for tykes, would open as the first full revenue-sharing movie, in both digital and 35mm formats.

No new Hollywood movies had been approved for release since November — extending what has become an annual December blackout. This protects Chinese tentpoles, this year “Assembly” and “Warlords,” during the lucrative Christmas and Chinese New Year period.

While local regulators insisted there was no blackout, Hollywood execs were dismayed when no new pics were approved under the quota system, which allows 20 foreign films to be released per year on a revenue-sharing basis.

Some Chinese sources said that state of affairs could continue until May.

The year-old Will Smith pic “The Pursuit of Happyness” opened on Thursday in digital cinemas only and industry watchers said it was a tactical move to refute the notion of a blanket ban on Hollywood fare. Digital screens account for only a small percentage of total exhibs in China.

More Film

  • Cavalcade Get Out Best Picture

    Oscars: Best Picture Winner Poised to Rout History

    Sony’s “The Water Horse” looks set to be the first pic to break China’s blackout on foreign movies when it bows here on Feb. 16, a week before the previously announced “Atonement” on Feb. 22. Industry sources said “The Water Horse,” a Loch Ness monster adventure for tykes, would open as the first full revenue-sharing […]

  • Black Panther Twitter

    The Brilliance of 'Black Panther' Helped It Avoid a Common Tentpole Movie Trap

    Sony’s “The Water Horse” looks set to be the first pic to break China’s blackout on foreign movies when it bows here on Feb. 16, a week before the previously announced “Atonement” on Feb. 22. Industry sources said “The Water Horse,” a Loch Ness monster adventure for tykes, would open as the first full revenue-sharing […]

  • Marvel Studios' BLACK PANTHER..L to R:

    'Black Panther' Tops 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' in Historic Opening

    Sony’s “The Water Horse” looks set to be the first pic to break China’s blackout on foreign movies when it bows here on Feb. 16, a week before the previously announced “Atonement” on Feb. 22. Industry sources said “The Water Horse,” a Loch Ness monster adventure for tykes, would open as the first full revenue-sharing […]

  • Berlinale - 2018 - Stage 5,

    Stage 5, Die Gesellschaft Partner for ‘The Girl from Wereldend’

    Sony’s “The Water Horse” looks set to be the first pic to break China’s blackout on foreign movies when it bows here on Feb. 16, a week before the previously announced “Atonement” on Feb. 22. Industry sources said “The Water Horse,” a Loch Ness monster adventure for tykes, would open as the first full revenue-sharing […]

  • Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani

    Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries Takes Stake in Eros International

    Sony’s “The Water Horse” looks set to be the first pic to break China’s blackout on foreign movies when it bows here on Feb. 16, a week before the previously announced “Atonement” on Feb. 22. Industry sources said “The Water Horse,” a Loch Ness monster adventure for tykes, would open as the first full revenue-sharing […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content