Snow Girl And The Dark Crystal

“Snow Girl and the Dark Crystal,” one of the biggest films this year from China, will get a 3D release in North American theaters later this month.

Rights in the U.S. and Canada were acquired by WellGo USA, which plans an outing in North American cinemas beginning Feb. 27. The sale was handled by Arclight Films.

The film is a fantasy that explores the legend of Zhong Kui, a fabled Chinese warrior with mysterious powers, who is forced to conquer the realms of Heaven and Hell to save his people and the woman he loves.

Produced on a budget of some $30 million, it is co-directed by “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’s” Oscar-winning cinematographer Peter Pau, and Zhao Tianyu. It stars Li Bingbing (“Transformers: Age of Extinction”), Kun Chen (“Flying Swords of Dragon Gate”), and Winston Chao (“Eat Drink Man Woman”).

“3D films are extremely popular in China. Showing international films in 3D is rare in North America, but sometimes there’s a movie so visually stunning that 3D will take that film experience to a higher level,” said Doris Pfardrescher, president and CEO of Well Go USA. “Peter Pau’s cinematography is gorgeous on its own, but adding 3D technology to the film will make it a completely immersive experience.”

The release date is intended to capitalize on momentum from the mainland Chinese release on Feb. 19 and interest around Chinese New Year, which begins in Asia on Feb. 19.

The strategy was employed last month (Jan. 2) by WellGo USA for its release of Tsui Hark’s “The Taking of Tiger Mountain,” and is frequently employed as an anti-piracy measure by specialty North American distributors of Chinese titles.

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